Documents show troubling manifesto from an Estero High School student

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Estero High School student manifesto
Estero High School student manifesto. (Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

Documents from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office show a manifesto from a 14-year-old Estero High School student that claims he told classmates he liked not to come to school one-day last month.

Law enforcement discovered a very dark plan but did not make an arrest. Instead of taking the teen to jail, deputies baker acted him. That’s when they commit a person to a mental health treatment center.

The sheriff’s office then filed a risk protection order (RPO) to keep guns out of this kid’s hands.

While his manifesto doesn’t target a specific school, it’s so disturbing that deputies had to do something more.

In the manifesto was a table of contents featuring weapons manufacturing, weapons distribution, and body disposal.

The graphic details were sketched out in the teenager’s handwriting and are hard to read. Deputies and detectives found a way, and they read enough to trigger Florida’s Red Flag law.

That’s when the sheriff’s office asked a judge to take away guns from someone they see as a danger.

WINK News asked Criminal Defense Attorney Doug Rudman what the point of the RPO is if the boy doesn’t have guns and is too young to buy guns.

Rudman said if the teenager does get his hands on a firearm, the consequences are much higher because of the RPO.

“If he is caught with a firearm. This is something that can be direct filed into adult court. This is something that can be treated as a felony,” said Rudman.

In the manifesto, the boy addresses his “fellow soldiers.”

“The system has proven time and time again that it only responds with violence. So, we will give them violence,” wrote the teen in the manifesto.

The boy even writes about using sodium hydroxide to dispose of dead bodies…

“All that’s left are some brittle bones and brown sludge,” the teen wrote.

David Thomas is a former law enforcement officer and professor of criminal justice at FGCU.

“When a person sits down to write a manifesto, there is some deep-seated thing that has gone on that they have been unable to resolve. And as a result of that, they have their coping mechanisms have failed. And so this is where we go, we’re going to write it out, we’re going to show you how we make this happen. If you look at the kids in Columbine, it was exactly the same thing,” said Thomas.

It’s important to note the boy does not have guns, but his dad does, and he gets to keep them under lock and key.

Deputies noted the teenager cooperated in his interview and said he didn’t want to kill anyone but did want to “punch others in the face.”

His parents told deputies the whole thing was being blown out of proportion and that he picked up much of what he wrote from watching the show Breaking Bad.

Thomas and Rudman both said that the sheriff’s office did the right thing based on what they read.

WINK News reached out to the School district of Lee County about the teen and the manifesto. They responded by saying:

FERPA and HIPPA prevent me from answering the specifics to some of your questions, but here is what I can say.

A single student was told the alleged threat and immediately reported it. School administrators and law enforcement immediately investigated. There was a school level and district level threat assessment performed. The student was disciplined per the code of conduct.

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