19-Year-Old Student Arrested For Allegedly Planning A ‘Columbine’ Shooting At Florida University

19-year-old student John Hagins has been arrested for allegedly planning a shooting on the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

The Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) arrested Hagins and charged him with written threats to injure or kill, terrorism and attempted first-degree homicide after the teen planned to “shoot up” the Embry-Riddle campus.

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Hagins’ fellow students alerted police to the shooting plot after he sent concerning messages according to DBPD Police Chief Jakari Young in a Thursday press conference. Two Embry-Riddle students went to the university’s campus safety department with their concerns and the university promptly contacted police about the shooting threat.

“They were very concerned … about a Snapchat group message that they were involved in,” Young said. “They were very concerned about what was being relayed in this Snapchat group chat.” 

Police arrived at the Hagins Andros Isles apartment in Daytona Beach after being notified by Embry-Riddle campus safety. DBPD then detained Hagins outside his home, where they discovered the backpack he was wearing contained boxes of ammunition and a folding gun.

The police chief believed that Hagins had planned to leave his apartment that day and head to campus – where many were taking their final exams – and carry out an attack.

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Hagins had allegedly referenced the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in his plans.

“He said … he was going to campus to ‘enact a Columbine,’ ” Young said. The police chief then went on to praised the two students who alerted campus safety with preventing a tragedy, saying, “they thwarted that plan.”  

Young stated in the DBPD news release, “We could have had a tragedy unfold today. Instead, these students reported it to the school and that allowed us to get to work right away and bring Hagins into custody before he could carry out his plans. We thank them all for seeing something and saying something.”

Currently Hagins is in custody and is being held under a no bond status until appearing before a judge.

19-Year-Old Student Arrested For Allegedly Planning A 'Columbine' Shooting At Florida University

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He then added that Hagins has confessed to “making these statements” about planning to attack the campus.

“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,” he said. “If he was looking for attention, he’s got it.” 

Embry-Riddle President P. Barry Butler addressed the planned attack in a letter sent to students Thursday.

“It was an admittedly frightening event, but our security systems worked and we are all safe,” Butler wrote. “There is no reason to believe that there is any additional threat to the campus community at this time.” 

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