Teen Arrested Over Mass Shooting Plans Uncovered in Traffic Stop

In Palm Beach County, Florida, a routine traffic stop for a faulty headlight took an unexpected turn when police arrested a 19-year-old man, Henry Horton IV, after discovering handwritten notes detailing his alleged plans for a mass shooting at his former high school.

The incident underscores the ongoing concern over school safety and gun violence in the United States, particularly in Florida, which has seen several high-profile mass shootings in recent years. The notes found in Horton’s possession reportedly outlined plans for mass killings at multiple locations, raising alarm among law enforcement officials.

Horton, an ex-student of Okeechobee High School, was taken into custody by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office detectives last Thursday. According to reports, Horton had been conducting surveillance at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a school tragically familiar with gun violence after a mass shooting in 2018 resulted in 17 fatalities and 17 injuries. Horton was reportedly observed at the school during school hours, watching the students.

When questioned about his motives, Horton allegedly stated that he sought “attention or fame.” Reports indicate that Horton had plans to acquire a handgun and an AK-47 for the mass shooting. He also allegedly had a separate plan for a “stabbing spree” at a Miami church, where he anticipated causing ten additional fatalities.

Despite these alarming revelations, Horton’s parents insist that their son is not a public threat but is struggling with mental health issues. Earlier this year, Horton voluntarily admitted himself to a mental hospital in Virginia but left without receiving a diagnosis. His mother, Marcie Horton, believes her son needs mental health treatment rather than criminal prosecution.

Horton reportedly spoke openly to the authorities without legal representation, confessing his thoughts about mass killings. He disclosed his desire to kill 15 people at his former high school on his 22nd birthday in 2026 and expressed a wish to be killed by the police.

Following his confession, Horton was detained. While in custody, Horton claimed his plans for violence were spurred by his stepmother evicting him from their home.

Horton now faces charges of written threats to kill or do harm and is being held on a $1 million bond in Palm Beach County, according to court records. If released, he will remain under house arrest with a monitoring device.