11-year-old girl arrested by Florida police for threatening to shoot up a middle school
Two days ago, a teenager armed with a semiautomatic weapon shot at crowds of students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. At least 17 people were killed during the attack, and a further 14 sustained injuries. Nicolas Cruz, who was a former pupil at the school, has appeared in court for the first time today after pleading guilty to 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Since the attack, at least one other person has made threats to attack their school. A high school student from South Carolina was arrested after posting an image of himself on Snapchat with the caption, "Round 2 of Florida tomorrow". He has since been charged with disturbing a school, even though he insists it was a joke.
Now, even more shockingly, an 11-year-old girl has been arrested after it was discovered that she put a threatening note under her assistant principle's office door.
Jasmine Powell, a student at Nova Middle School, penned the note herself. It said: "I will bring a gun to school to kill all you ugly a** kids and teachers b****. I will bring the gun Feb. 16, 18. Be prepared B****."
Davie police stated that they were made away of the note after Powell was spotted on CCTV camera. Despite the girl being so young, it's still a felony to threaten to kill or impose bodily harm on somebody, so law enforcement had to take her message seriously - especially in the wake of what has just happened.
"This arrest is evident that these types of crimes will be taken serious," said Davie police spokesman Mark Leone.
After she was arrested, the sixth-grade student confessed to having written and delivered the note, but claimed she was coerced into doing so. According to her, another girl in her class had threatened to start a fight with her if she did not write the threat.
"So to avoid getting in a fight with her friend I put the letter under the door," Powell's confession read.
Since the shooting, several pupils from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have come forward to give their accounts of what happened, but also to share their opinions on gun control.
"People get used to what’s going on and that’s not OK," said David Hogg, a 17-year-old survivor of the attack. "We’re habituating to this and what happens when we do that is children are dying and they will continue to die unless we stop it. Stand up and take action."
Another student took to Twitter in order to reply to Donald Trump's tweet, in which he said "my prayers and condolences to the families of the victims". In response, the student - Sarah Chad - said that "prayers won't fix this, but gun control will prevent it from happening again."
More information about the killer has been released in the last 48 hours, namely that he was a member of a white nationalist group, and also that he posted multiple images of himself holding guns and knives on Instagram.
Whether or not this will at last be the final straw for anti-gun control advocates is yet to be seen - but it's certainly sparked another wave of discussion in the ongoing debate.