A Florida college student suspected of planning a school shooting was arrested after his peers reported his concerning Snapchat messages referencing Columbine

John Hagins
  • Police arrested a student in Florida for allegedly plotting a shooting after two students reported him to campus security.
  • The students said the suspect was making references to the Columbine High School shooting on Snapchat. 
  • His arrest comes less than two weeks after a shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan which killed four students. 

Snapchat messages tipped off two concerned college students who helped prevent a potential school shooting in Florida.

Police in Daytona Beach, Florida arrested 19-year old John Hagins on Thursday for allegedly planning a shooting on the campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Hagin’s arrest comes less than two weeks after a shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan which killed four students and injured at least seven others. 

According to Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young, police were alerted to the potential threat by campus security after two students reported they were “very concerned” by Snapchat messages from Hagins referencing the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado. 

When police detained Higgins, they found a backpack in his apartment containing a collapsible rifle and several boxes of ammunition. Investigators later discovered several social media messages written by Hagins that outlined his plan to use the gun and ammunition on campus, as well as indication that he sold his car in order to purchase the firearm. 

“We could have had a tragedy unfold today,” Young said in a press statement. “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.”

The Daytona Beach Police Department said detectives are still trying to identify a motive, but discovered that Hagins was performing poorly in his classes and had been involved in a traffic infraction on campus the day before his arrest

After processing, Hagins will be moved to Volusia County Jail, where he will be held without bond on charges of written threats to injure or kill, terrorism, and attempted first-degree homicide. 

“The point I want to drive home is the importance of, if you see something, you say something. This is the way we combat what’s going on in this country right now,” Young said in a press conference on Thursday morning. 

He continued: “The credit truly goes to those two students who stepped up, came forward, and brought this to our attention.” 

Ethan Crumbley, the suspect in the Oxford High School shooting, also allegedly posted allusions to violence and death on his social media accounts leading up to the event, including sharing a threat on Twitter the day before the shooting, according to a lawsuit filed against the school on behalf of two survivors. 

“Previous to the November 30, 2021 incident, Ethan Crumbley posted countdowns and threats of bodily harm, including death, on his social media accounts, warning of violent tendencies and murderous ideology prior to actually coming to school with the handgun and ammunition to perpetuate the slaughter,” the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, on the night before the shooting Crumbley tweeted “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. See you tomorrow Oxford.”

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