John Hagins Embry Riddle student planned mass shooting at Florida school. Plan foiled after classmates reported disturbing messages he’d shared on social media.
A Florida university student has been arrested after allegedly planning a mass shooting at his school only to be foiled by fellow classmates after reporting ‘disturbing’ messages they came across on social media.
John Hagins, 19, was taken into custody on Thursday at his apartment near the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campus in Daytona Beach.
He had allegedly planned to carry out the mass shooting later that day on what was the final day of classes before winter break according to a release from the Daytona Beach Police Dept.
Police said they were able to intercede Hagins’ plan after several classmates alerted campus security to threatening messages he’d posted on a Snapchat group message boasting of the imminent shooting.
In his messages, Hagins had allegedly laid out plans to smuggle a folding gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition to the university in his backpack.
Planned to practise at nearby gun range before going to school to carry out plan
The gun, ammunition and backpack were all found inside Hagins’ apartment when he was arrested, cops said.
Hagins is believed to have sold his car to purchase the gun and ammunition.
Daytona Beach Police Department Chief Jakari Young said Hagins had planned to go to a shooting range to practice with the firearm, before going to classes later that day.
‘Today is the last day before winter break. Today is the last day. Today is finals. Final exams. So, this was all part of the plan because today the campus (would) be packed because everybody has to be there to take their final exam, so this was all in his plan,’ Young told reporters.
Young said Hagins confessed to making the statements, adding: ‘He may want to claim that it was all a joke and he wasn’t serious about it. But we don’t find anything funny about discussing a mass shooting on a campus. If he was looking for attention, he’s got it.’
‘He said once he was done at that firing range, he was going to campus to enact a Columbine,’ the police chief added.
It wasn’t immediately clear how long Hagins had been preparing his alleged plan.
Student had been failing classes
Investigators had yet to say what motivated the student but noted Hagins was in danger of failing classes and had been on academic probation and had received a traffic violation on campus on Wednesday.
Hagins has been charged with written threats to injure or kill, terrorism and attempted first-degree homicide.
Hagins has been suspended and will not be able to return to campus WESH reported.
John Hagins is expected to make a first court appearance Friday.
He is being held without bond at the Volusia County Jail.