Friday, two sixth-grade students were charged after the School Resource Officer for South Cumberland Elementary School uncovered their plot to bring weapons to school to shoot fellow students and faculty.
The newly formed Crossville/Cumberland County District Threat Assessment Task Force aided in the investigation, joined by the SRO and school administration.
Rumors of the existence of a possible “hit list” of students to be shot in a future school shooting proved false; however, officials conducting an investigation did turn up a hand-drawn map of the school and a plot between the two students to bring in weapons on the last day of school, hide them in the locker room, shoot faculty and students and then commit suicide before law enforcement could intervene.
Authorities learned the plot coalesced over the past two weeks, with multiple conversations taking place between the two students, whose identities have not been made public.
Director of Schools Janet Graham said the School Department’s primary responsibility is ensuring the safety of students and staff. “It was determined that at no time during the investigation students or staff were believed to be in any immediate danger,” she said.
Investigators from the Sheriff’s Special Investigation Unit aided in the search of both students’ homes for weapons or any evidence related to the plot. No weapons were found in either home.
Parents of both students cooperated fully in aiding law enforcement and the school administration.
The two students were arrested and taken by Cumberland County deputies to the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Facility. Both were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and remain in custody, pending a hearing in juvenile court.
“We take any threat to students and school faculty very seriously,” said Cumberland County Sheriff Casey Cox. “And we will respond, investigate and take swift, appropriate action to manage each threat.”
Crossville Police Chief Jessie Brooks concurred. “The best way to manage threats is through all agencies working together in unity.”