Tampa Student Pleads to School Shooting Plot Charges

An 18-year-old former Leto High School student (Tampa, Florida) has pled guilty to charges stemming for an August 2010 plot to kill faculty and students at the high school. Austin James Cook was sentenced to two years of community control (intensive supervised house arrest) and eight years of probation. A solicitation to commit murder charge was dropped. The general consensus was that Cook committed conspiracy to commit murder, but he didn’t tale a charge for that.

According to reports, between March and July 2010, Cook solicited "someone" to murder "any and all employees or student body of Leto High School." He also bragged to several unnamed witnesses that he planned to blow up Leto High School and told one witness that he wanted to ‘break the record’ of the Columbine and Virginia Tech killings.

When police searched Cook’s residence they found a .22-caliber rifle, a bow and arrow, several books about firearms, and a computer with a "Columbine High School video game." We assume the computer game in question was Super Columbine Massacre, an RPG Maker game that is freely available on multiple sites on the web.

When asked in 2010, several witnesses said that they thought what Cook was saying was a "joke" and that they did not think he was serious. Eventually one of those witnesses called a Crime Stoppers hotline to alert police.

According to the terms of his plea agreement, Cook is under a 10 p.m. – 7 a.m. curfew unless working or in school, must attend a weekly therapy session, must attend anger management classes, must stay 5,000 feet from Leto High on all sides, and must avoid consuming music, movies, television and more that may contain content that advocates violence or makes homicidal or suicidal suggestions. The last condition seems a bit over the top and unenforceable..

Source: Tampa Bay Online

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  1. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    Hi all.

    It I’m reading this right, it seems that he got off rather light. Correct me if I haven’t. As far as the avoid violent media part, it seems rather vague. You could count many tv shows and movies and even video games in that statement.It could prevent him from watching movies like ‘Scarface’, and cartoons like ‘Looney Toons’. I won’t even go into video games for the obvious reasons. Also how do they plan to enforce that? I"m sure someone won’t be watching him in his home 24/7.

     – W 

    edit – fixed grammar

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