Tragedy averted! Deputies in Hernando County are certain two students stopped a shooting at Hernando High School before another student could pull off his plan.

Those two students are being credited for sounding an alert. They told the school resource deputy about text messages, detailing plans to shoot people at the school.

“I’m scared for my kids to go to school and deal with this,” said parent Tyfanny Lewis.

News of the 17-year-old student’s arrest for making threats is causing concern for parents.

“I think it’s very horrible and it’s tragic and we need more law enforcement into our schools to protect our children,” said Lewis.

Unlike several previous threats to schools where those involved claimed to be joking, Hernando County deputies believe this time, the student meant to borrow a gun from a neighbor or buy one at a store and shoot people who made him mad.

“I think we did avert a tragedy. I think those students averted a tragedy by being alert and being responsive and doing the right thing quickly and not sitting around and thinking about it,” said sheriff’s office spokeswoman Denise Moloney.

The student, whom we are not naming, is on suspension for an unrelated offense.

He told deputies he just wanted to hurt people.

“It scares me a lot.  And I thank God for our teachers and our resource officer here, he’s been here for years and he’s great,” said parent Lanna Bartz.

The students who received the threat texts messages tried to talk the student out of it, even asking him if he was serious.

Sheriff Al Nienhuis is serious and has a “zero tolerance” for this kind of thing.

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