Police, deputies thwart 6th graders' school murder-suicide plot in Cumberland County

South Cumberland Elementary School (Image: WATE)

Two 6th grade students have been charged in a plan to kill faculty and students at their school on the last day of class, authorities said Monday.

Cumberland County Schools, Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, and Crossville Police issued a joint statement Monday.

The report says that the School Resource Officer (SRO) for South Cumberland Elementary found out about a rumored 'hit list' containing students to be shot in a future school shooting.

The newly formed Crossville/Cumberland County District Threat Assessment Task Force jumped into action and began helping in the investigation.

Working closely with the SRO and school administration, investigators didn't find the reported hit list, but turned up several other things.

According to the report, investigators found a hand-drawn map of the school, and several conversations between the two 6th grade suspects in the past two weeks in preparation for the shooting.

Authorities say the plot involved them bringing weapons to the school, hiding them in the locker room, and on the last day entering through the school's back door, shooting faculty and students, and then killing themselves before officers could intervene.

Sheriff's office investigators searched the homes of both students, but found no weapons in either home.

The students' parents were cooperative in helping school officials and law enforcement.

"It was determined that at no time during the investigation students or staff were believed to be in any immediate danger,” said Cumberland County Schools Director Janet Graham.

The two students were arrested, and deputies took them to the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Facility.

They have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, and will remain in custody as they wait for a hearing in Juvenile Court.

“We take any threat to students and school faculty very seriously and we will respond, investigate and take swift appropriate action to manage each threat,” said Sheriff Casey Cox.

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