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The students allegedly planned to shoot students and faculty on the last day of school and then commit suicide

By Christine Pelisek
May 01, 2019 04:58 PM
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South Cumberland Elementary School
Credit: WATE

Two Tennessee sixth-graders have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder after they allegedly planned to bring weapons to their elementary school to shoot students and faculty on the last day of school.

The two students were taken into custody on April 26 after the alleged plot was discovered by a school resource officer for South Cumberland Elementary in Crossville, Tennessee.

The resource officer “uncovered a rumor of the possible existence of a ‘hit list’ containing students to be shot in a future school shooting” and steps were taken “to ensure the safety of all students,” according to a joint press release by Cumberland County Schools, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and the Crossville Police Department obtained by PEOPLE.

Authorities said they did not find a “hit list” but did uncover a hand-drawn map of the school and the students’ plot.

The students allegedly intended to bring the weapons to school and hide them in the locker room. On the last day of school, the students allegedly planned a suicide mission which entailed entering the school through the back door, shooting faculty and students and then killing themselves before police arrived.

Authorities said they found evidence of the plot in “multiple conversations” between the two in the past two weeks.

Police searched the two students’ homes for weapons but didn’t find anything.

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The students were taken into custody and charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

According to the press release, the students will remain in custody until a hearing in juvenile court.

“Our first and most important responsibility is to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” Cumberland County Schools director Janet Graham said, in the release. “It was determined that at no time during the investigation students or staff were believed to be in any immediate danger.”