3 High School Students Arrested Over 'Lethal Hit List'

Sheriff's office believe boys posed a 'credible threat' to classmates in Florida
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2023 3:04 PM CDT

Police in Florida say they have arrested three high school students—two 14-year-olds and a 15-year-old—believed to have posed a "credible threat" to their classmates. The sheriff's office in St. John's County, south of Jacksonville, says the boys named multiple students on a "hit list" of those they wished to harm and a "lethal hit list" of those they wished to kill, News4Jax reports. According to an arrest report, the teens formed a chat group called the "United Boyopolis Socialist Republic," described in the report as a "Russian communist group," after being bullied at Creekside High School.

According to the arrest report, the teens tried to recruit others to the group and discussed plans to attack students in a group text messaging chat, with two of them claiming they would bring AK-47s to school, reports USA Today. The exchanges made one member of the chat group "concerned and fearful enough" to report it to authorities, deputies said in the report. The sheriff's office says the hit lists had pictures of students circled, along with home addresses, class schedules. and aerial photos of the school, First Coast News reports.

"We are convinced that these young men were going to follow through with this lethal hit list with violence," says St. Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick. Investigators are still trying to determine whether the teens had access to the weapons they claimed they would bring to school. The teens were arrested last week and charged with written threats to kill or do bodily harm as well as unlawful use of a two-way communications device. They have been suspended from school and at a hearing Friday, they were ordered to "remain held secure in detention for 21 days or until further order of the court," the sheriff's office says. (More Florida stories.)

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