BARTOW, FL — Two Bartow Middle School students have been arrested for conspiring to carry out a mass murder at their school on Tuesday, Bartow Police say.
In interviews with detectives Tuesday night, the two girls, ages 11 and 12, claimed to be Satan worshipers and said they were willing to drink the blood and possibly eat the flesh of their victims.
The two girls had been plotting the mass murder over several days and planned to carry it out on Tuesday, Oct. 24, according to Bartow Police Chief Joe Hall. Police found a hand-drawn map of the school with a bathroom designated as the locations where the killings would take place. A notation on the map read, “Go to kill in bathroom.”
A review of the conversations between the girls on cell phone messages indicated they were plotting to kill at least 15 people. They planned to wait in the bathroom for smaller students to come in and then overtake and kill those students, said Hall.
One of the girls sent a message to the other saying, “We will leave body parts at the entrance and then kill ourselves.”
Another message on the day of the arrest read: “Thank Satan we are doing this in a bit.”
The school was alerted when one of the girl’s parents called the school in response to a robocall informing her that her daughter was not in class. Hall said a student then reported to a teacher that he overheard the girls discussing their plan to kill students.
Jacqueline Byrd, superintendent of Polk County schools, said the training administrators and teachers received to deal with threats such as this worked just as planned.
Hall said the teacher told school administrators and a search for the students was launched. The school’s assistant principal found the girls hiding in the bathroom a short time later.
During a search of their belongings, a paring knife was found on one girl and several knives, including a butcher knife and a pizza cutter, was found on the other, said Hall.
Bartow Police were called and the girls were immediately removed from the campus.
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Hall called the incident “horrific.”
“If I had children in school, I would be scared … to death,” he said. All parents have been notified of the incident.
Byrd said she regrets that teachers and administrators must receive special training for threats like this but said she is glad they do.
“A student heard something and told a teacher which activated our safety plan and everything worked,” said Byrd. “It’s very disturbing to me not only as an educator and a superintendent but as a parent. It is sad we have students that were plotting and actually planning to harm other students on campus. We don’t send our students to school to be harmed.”
The students are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, bringing weapons on campus and disruption of a school function.
Hall said he doesn’t believe the parents had any knowledge of the girls’ plan.
Image via Bartow Police
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