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Teens accused of plotting 'Columbine-style' shooting at Florida middle school held in secure detention

According to the sheriff, the two teens were interested in the Columbine mass school shooting. The sheriff said it could have 'been the next Parkland massacre.'

LEE COUNTY, Fla — Two Florida teens accused of plotting a "Columbine-style" school shooting appeared in front of a judge Sunday morning.

The two teens, ages 13 and 14, will be held for 21 days in secure juvenile detention before their next court appearances, WINK News reports.

The teens were detained Thursday after a school resource officer at Harns Marsh Middle School in Fort Myers was notified that a student at the school had a gun in his backpack, WKMG reports

"No weapons were located in the bag; however, a map of the school was located," Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said Thursday. "The map contained markings indicating the location of each of the school's interior security cameras and we take every tip and every threat seriously, so we did not stop there." 

Sheriff Marceno said when detectives searched the teens' homes, "disturbing evidence" was found including a gun and several knives. 

Sheriff Marceno said the two "took an interest" in the Columbine High School massacre and the shooters. Based on the evidence deputies found, he said the teens were plotting a school shooting that would mirror Columbine and the Parkland mass school shooting in Florida. 

He also said the students were researching how to make pipe bombs and buy guns "on the black market."  

Marceno said the teens were "well known" to deputies who had received almost 80 calls to their homes.

The two were held for a mental health evaluation following the incident.

"This could have been the next Parkland massacre, but we stopped them in the planning stages," Marceno said.

Sunday, a judge said he believed both teens committed a juvenile act. 

The two are expected in court again at 9 a.m. on Sept. 27.

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