Florida student brought knife to school, had list of student names, cops say

Education
Benjamin Mendoza, 18, was arrested Monday after law enforcement said he brought a knife to school alongside a list of classmates’ names.

A Florida high school student was arrested Monday after law enforcement said he brought a knife to school alongside a list of student names.

Benjamin Mendoza, 18, was taken into custody after the Collier County Sheriff’s Office discovered questionable items in his backpack at Palmetto Ridge High School, the department said in a news release.

Mendoza was found to have a “realistic looking” fake Los Angeles Police Department badge in his backpack. Police said he was also in possession of a list of student names, accompanied by “a drawing of a student with bullet holes to the chest” with the words “dead ha ha dead” written on it.

The man also had a note that said “shoot up school” and “shoot shoot animae dead,” a map of Palmetto Ridge High School, and a notebook with “stories and drawings depicting students as victims and suspects in murders and other crimes,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies said they received a tip on Friday about Mendoza’s behavior. The person claimed Mendoza had brought a gas mask to school on Thursday, and had made comments in the past about the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October.

Witnesses told detectives about the gas mask, and said they also saw a knife in Mendoza’s bag.

Mendoza was charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds and disruption of a school function, and was booked at the Collier County Jail, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Another Palmetto Ridge High School student on Tuesday was taken into custody after “making disturbing statements on the school bus.” An investigation from law enforcement found there was nothing dangerous at the student’s home.

The arrest comes as schools nationwide have strengthened security amid reports of threats from students.

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Deputies said they received a tip on Friday about Mendoza’s behavior. The person claimed Mendoza had brought a gas mask to school on Thursday, and had made comments in the past about the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October.

Witnesses told detectives about the gas mask, and said they also saw a knife in Mendoza’s bag.

Mendoza was charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds and disruption of a school function, and was booked at the Collier County Jail, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Another Palmetto Ridge High School student on Tuesday was taken into custody after “making disturbing statements on the school bus.” An investigation from law enforcement found there was nothing dangerous at the student’s home.

The arrest comes as schools nationwide have strengthened security amid reports of threats from students.

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