David Gee, Sheriff
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Release Number: 10-248
- For Immediate Release:
- Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
- August 25, 2010
- Contact Person:
- Debbie Carter : firstname.lastname@example.org
Suspect Arrested On Alleged Plot To Conduct Shooting At Leto High School
Tip to Crime Stoppers thwarts plot to kill.
- August 23, 2010
- Time: 12:00 AM
Austin James Cook, dob 09-16-92
7220 Creekwood Court
Charges: Solicitation to Commit Murder
Threat to Discharge Destructive Device
Arrest - Solicitation to Commit Murder/Threat to Discharge Destructive Device
During July of 2010 detectives received an anonymous complaint via Crime Stoppers indicating a mass shooting was planned to occur at Leto High School on a specific date and at a specific time. Detectives identified and interviewed witnesses, obtaining information that substantiated the original complaint. Detectives seized a firearm and a computer from the residence. The suspect was arrested at his residence without incident on August 23, 2010, prior to the commencement of school.
Between March 2010 and July 2010, the defendant knowingly. Intentionally and unlawfully solicited a witness to conduct a shooting at Leto High School on November 11, 2011. The defendant also threatened to blow up Leto High School. The defendant advised several witnesses that he was going to commit this offense. He advised one specific witness that he wanted to "break the record" of Columbine and Virginia Tech and shoot and kill everybody he could. During the course of the investigation, a .22 caliber rifle was recovered from the residence in addition to a bow and arrow and several books about firearms. A computer was also recovered in which preliminary findings show the defendant had a Columbine video game on the computer and made multiple inquiries to Columbine and Virginia Tech. The 17 year old defendant also had inquired about gun shops in Tampa. The defendant was arrested without incident and denied the accusations against him. But did state that he joked about it with a friend.