A Vermont high school student inspired by the Florida school shooting planned a mass killing of his own, only to be foiled by the friend he confided in.
Jack Sawyer (pictured above) revealed his plans to carry out a mass shooting at his former school, Fair Haven High School in Fair Haven, Vermont, to his friend Angela McDevitt in a series of messages. Upon receiving the messages, McDevitt informed her school’s resource officer, who contacted authorities.
McDevitt met Sawyer when they both attended a Maine treatment center for troubled teens and the pair remained friends after they left the facility.
The teen said in an interview with CBS that she became concerned when he started revealing his plans in a series of Facebook messages last week around the time the deadly shooting in Florida happened.
‘I texted him saying a school just got shot up and he answered saying: ‘That’s fantastic, I 100 percent support it’,’ McDevitt said.
Jack Sawyer, 18, was arrested last Thursday – the day after the deadly Florida high shooting – and has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted aggravated murder and other offenses.
The suspect revealed his plan in a series of Facebook messages.
On February 11, Sawyer is accused of saying: ‘Just a few days ago I was still plotting on shooting up my old high school’.
The day after, he wrote to McDevitt saying: ‘It’s been the plan for like 2 years.’
After the Florida shooting happened, Sawyer allegedly praised the massacre saying: ‘It’s just natural selection taken up a notch.’
McDevitt, who is a junior at Arlington High in Lagrangeville, New York, then showed the messages to her school’s resource officer who subsequently notified authorities in Vermont.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott praised the bravery of McDevitt, saying: ‘It was only by the grace of God and the courage of a young woman who spoke up that we averted a horrific outcome.’
McDevitt said it was not easy to report her friend, but she glad she did.
‘It’s not the matter of friendship if it’s about lives at hand,’ she told CBS.
She said prior to receiving the messages, she had always known Sawyer to be ‘very attentive to detail and very kind’.
Suspect’s Diary Reveals Plot
Sawyer’s intent was made clear when his journal was discovered by police.
When police searched Sawyer’s car, they allegedly found a diary he had been keeping titled ‘journal of an active shooter’.
It detailed his plans ‘to shoot up’ his school and had ‘big plans’ to kill as many as he could. He had listed the guns and ammunition he needed to carry out the attack.
He also wrote of his mental health struggles, suicidal thoughts and appreciation and love for his family.
‘I don’t care anymore who I kill, or when I kill, I just know that one day it’ll happen,’ he wrote on December 28.
Police said Sawyer had recently bought a shotgun and four boxes of ammunition. He also told police he had read books about school shootings and was inspired by the Columbine massacre.
On November 29, he wrote in his journal: ‘I’ve realized the huge importance of being able to kill the kids that I actually know vs. waiting a year or so until they’re all gone.’
He wrote on January 23 that he was planning to sit in the parking lot and scope out the school to determine the school resource officer’s schedule.
‘Then I will gear up and let loose my anger and hatred. It’ll be fantastic,’ he wrote.
He also apologized to his family, who he said he loves, and that he appreciated all they had done for him and the money spent on his treatment.