When police officers stopped a 19-year-old for a blown headlight, they soon discovered he had handwritten pages detailing his alleged plans to kill everyone at his former high school.
Henry Horton IV, who attended Okeechobee High School, was arrested Thursday by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office investigators after they discovered the man appeared to have plans to carry out mass killings in multiple locations Sun Guardian.
Horton allegedly conducted reconnaissance work at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and appeared on site during school hours and studied students there.
After authorities asked Horton why he planned to carry out such a horrific attack on Stoneman Douglas – the site of a mass shooting took place in 201817 people were killed and another 17 injured – he replied that he wanted to do it “for attention or fame”.
NY Daily News reported Horton had apparently planned to purchase an M1911 handgun and an AK-47 to carry out the mass shooting, and he had a separate plan to go on a “shooting spree” at the El Ray Jesus Church in Miami, killing ten more people would die.
However, Horton’s parents insisted he posed no danger to the public, pointing out that he was simply struggling with mental health issues. Horton’s mother, Marcie Horton, claimed her son checked himself into a psychiatric hospital in Virginia earlier this year but left the facility without a diagnosis.
“They just pumped him full of drugs,” Marcie said.
“He needs to be treated for mental illness and not treated as a criminal,” she added. “He needs a clear diagnosis to figure out what the problem is and from there get the help he is so desperately asking for.”
Horton reportedly spoke to authorities without a lawyer and admitted he was considering mass killings. He admitted that he wanted to kill a total of 15 people at his former high school on his 22nd birthday, which would happen in 2026. After this apparent admission, he said that he ultimately wanted to be killed by the police.
Authorities then took him into custody under Florida’s Baker Act, a law that allows people to be detained in a specific location for up to three days if they are believed to be a danger to themselves or someone else represent.
While being held under the Baker Act, Horton said he wanted to commit a violent attack because his stepmother kicked him out of the house.
“She kicked me out because I told her my honest thoughts,” Horton wrote. “Now I’m suffering in Florida in the middle of nowhere.”
As a result, Horton was charged with making written threats to kill or harm. He was being held in Palm Beach County on a $1 million bond, according to court records. Even if he is released, he will remain under house arrest with surveillance.
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