Newly obtained court documents lay out Harns Marsh shooting plot

Reporter: Russ McCaskey Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Connor Pruett and Philip Byrd being escorted by a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy. (Credit: LCSO)

Just last month, two young boys were arrested for plotting a Columbine-style shooting at Harns Marsh Middle School in Lehigh Acres.

Conner Pruett, 13, and Phillip Byrd, 14, were arrested and accused of plotting a school shooting at Harns Marsh.

WINK New recently obtained court documents that show one of these students, Conner Pruett, used his “school-issued Chromebook” to do research and find websites dedicated to the Columbine school massacre, pipe bombs and firearms.

And on Phillip Byrd’s cell phone, investigators found 950 images depicting alarming material. That material includes but is not limited to, firearms, swastikas, confederate flags, pictures of the Parkland school shooter and a video that appeared to show homemade napalm tests.

Those investigators spoke with both Pruett and Byrd after the shooting plot was foiled. Byrd told those investigators that Pruett knew how to make a pipe bomb and that Pruett gave him books about guns.

Pruett told investigators in this case that this was Byrd’s plan: to knock out the gas line at Harns Marsh Middle School with pipe bombs. When those pipe bombs exploded, then Byrd would start shooting. Pruett explained to investigators that he would be the distraction for Byrd.

This school shooting plot was stopped, thanks to the quick thinking and actions of students and teachers at the school. One of the Harns Marsh students came forward saying that the duo was at lunch discussing school shootings.

Investigators also found a map of the locations of the school’s security cameras inside Byrd’s backpack.

Both students are expected to be back in court on November 3.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.