Education

Police: student wanted to shoot Miami-Dade school guards

An alert teacher and principal thwarted a student’s plan to shoot unarmed security monitors at Jan Mann Opportunity School on Wednesday, police said.

“We were able to prevent a potentially unfortunate situation,” said Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Ian Moffett.

Police arrested 18-year old Jalen Leon Bradley on charges of bringing a loaded gun to school, battery on a police officer and attempted murder. He did not return a call for comment Thursday.

Jan Mann, in Northwest Miami-Dade County, is a school of last resort for middle and high school kids who face expulsion.

Bradley told police he stole a gun Sunday night from a woman in a Winn-Dixie parking lot at Northwest 12th Avenue and Northwest 54th Street in Miami.

He headed to school on Wednesday with the loaded pistol and planned to shoot two security guards whom he “hates,” according to an arrest form. Bradley, police said, confessed to officers after his arrest. They said they aren’t sure why Bradley planned to target those particular security guards, who do not carry weapons themselves.

But Bradley caught the attention of Principal Samuel L. Johnson and teacher Eddie Lafaille as the student left a school bathroom, according to a police report. He was acting suspiciously, so the two adults patted Bradley down and found the firearm tucked in his waistband.

An officer was called, who came and handcuffed Bradley. Back at the on-campus police station, Bradley, still handcuffed, tried to bolt. According to the police report, Bradley and an officer tussled. In the struggle, Bradley reached for the officer’s gun, the report says.

The officer eventually gained control of situation, though it’s not clear how. According to police report, Bradley said he would have shot that officer, too, had he gotten a hold of the gun.

At a press conference, Moffett highlighted the department’s “see something, say something” campaign, which encourages people in school communities to report crimes. Moffett said the principal received a tip “simultaneously” as Bradley left the bathroom, which led to the gun confiscation. The police report, however, makes no mention of a tip being received.

“It was an unusual circumstance,” Moffett said. “The tip came in and the principal acted.”

Law enforcement records show Bradley has been arrested at least four times since 2012. He has been charged with assaulting a police or law enforcement official, and battery on a school district employee. In both cases, he plead guilty to a less serious charge and was sentenced to 10 months probation.

Last month, Bradley was charged with domestic violence, resisting an officer without violence and carrying a concealed weapon. That case is still pending, records show.

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