John Hagins: Failing Florida student caught with a gun wanted to 'enact a Columbine'

Alarmed classmates alert campus security after Snapchat post, leading Daytona Police to arrest 19-year-old on the final day before winter break


                            John Hagins: Failing Florida student caught with a gun wanted to 'enact a Columbine'
A plane from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University/Facebook) with an insert of Josh Hagins (Daytona Beach PD)
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Eagle-eyed students at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida prevented another mass shooting tragedy from taking place, after swiftly reporting John Hagins to the police. Reportedly, Hagins, a freshman at the university, posted on Snapchat that he wanted to "enact a Columbine", but was caught red-handed with an automatic gun before he could do so.

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The arrest comes just weeks after the tragedy at Oxford High School, where 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley killed four with a gun purchased by his parents. Crumbley is now facing a large number of charges, and in a unique case, so are his parents. Meanwhile, over in New York City, weapons including guns are being recovered with alarming frequency, with students blaming the crime wave as a reason to bring the weapons to school.

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It was only the quick thinking and great observation skills of the students in Daytona Beach that prevented a similar tragedy from playing out. Hagins was taken into custody on December 9 at his apartment and is now being held without bond at the Volusia County Jail.

A handout photograph released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office shows the outside of the library and cafeteria at Columbine High School after the shooting massacre on April 20, 1999, in Littleton, CO. 

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Who is John Hagins?

Not much is known about the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University freshman, beyond his planned attack. We couldn't find any social media profiles in his name, so there's little we can tell you about him. For now, a motive for the shooting hasn't been established, but The Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) noted that it's possible his grades might have played a role. At a press conference, Chief Jakari Young said Hagins was "in danger of failing classes". It's unclear what course he was doing.

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Reportedly, Hagins also received a traffic violation on campus the day before his arrest. It is believed he sold his car to purchase the KelTec SUB2000 foldable automatic weapon and 300 rounds of 9-mm. ammunition. He uploaded a photo of the gun on a Snapchat group, and also detailed his plans to smuggle the gun into the campus in his backpack. He also added he planned to practice at a local shooting range, before coming to school. 

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Two students instantly alerted campus security to the messages, who then called in the DBPD. "By the Grace of God those two students came forward and thwarted that plan," Young said. After his arrest, Hagins confessed to making the statements. Young added, "He may want to claim that it was all a joke and he wasn’t serious about it. But we don’t find anything funny about discussing a mass shooting on campus. If he was looking for attention, he's got it."

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When police arrested Hagins, he was reportedly on his way to the firing range, with the gun and ammunition in his backpack. Most worryingly, Young said, "He referenced Columbine. He said once he was done at that firing range he was going to campus to enact a Columbine so that’s what we are dealing with." Hagins has now been charged with written threats to injure or kill, attempted first-degree homicide, and terrorism. He was denied bond and will remain at county jail till he appears before a judge. 

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