DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — An Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student was arrested after investigators say he plotted a school shooting.
The Daytona Beach Police Department said 19-year-old John Hagins planned "to shoot up the campus" on the last day of class before winter break.
Authorities say they were tipped off by a couple of other students. Emergency dispatchers in Volusia County were alerted shortly after 4 a.m., and officers rushed over to the location.
“We could have had a tragedy unfold today,” DBPD Police Chief Jakari Young explained in a 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.”
Police say Hagins' social media messages included plans to take a folding gun to school – concealing it by tucking it into a backpack with hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Detectives say they believe Hagins sold his car to buy the firearm and ammo.
Investigators are working to determine a motive. But, police say they discovered Hagins was at risk of failing classes and had been cited for a traffic infraction Wednesday while on campus.
Hagins was arrested Thursday morning at the Andros Isles apartments, where police say they found the gun, ammo and a backpack.
Precise charges have not yet been announced, but investigators said Hagins would face "numerous charges." He will be booked into the Volusia County Jail.