DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Police arrested an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student Thursday after students alerted campus security to an alleged plot to carry out a mass shooting on campus on the last day of school before winter break, according to WFTV.
Authorities arrested John Hagins, 19, after school security officers told police around 4:10 a.m. about the reportedly alarming messages he had posted on Snapchat, WFTV reported. Investigators said they found social media messages written by Hagins in which he outlined plans to bring a folding gun and “hundreds of rounds of ammunition” to the campus in Daytona Beach.
During a search of Hagins’ apartment, police said they found the gun, ammunition and a backpack he planned to tote the items to the university in. Authorities said it appeared that he’d sold his vehicle to buy the gun and the ammunition.
It was not immediately clear why Hagins planned the mass shooting, police said, though investigators determined that the teen was in danger of failing classes and had been cited Wednesday for a traffic infraction while on campus. In a statement Thursday, Daytona Beach police Chief Jakari Young praised the students who came forward about the threat “for seeing something and saying something.”
“We could have had a tragedy unfold today,” he said. “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.”
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students attended the last day of the fall semester on Thursday. Final examinations for the semester are set to begin Dec. 11.
Police said the exact charges to be filed against Hagins had yet to be determined Thursday afternoon.
About 6,700 undergraduate and 800 graduate students attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, according to school officials.
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