Yesterday, the School Resource at Hernando High School, received information from two students that another student was making threats to commit a shooting at the school on the next day. Both students provided Deputy Pope with text messages, sent by the suspect student, which stated his intentions.
Deputies and detectives immediately launched an investigation.
The suspect student, identified as James Fletcher Dampier Jr., was currently suspended from school for another matter. Detectives made various attempts to locate Dampier and/or a parent or guardian, meeting with negative results. Crime Analysts developed leads on a possible location where Dampier may be staying. Detectives responded to that location and located Dampier.
When Detective Shawn Galarza made contact with Dampier, Dampier admitted to sending the text messages to the other students. Dampier was taken into custody immediately.
Upon further questioning, Dampier told Galarza that he did write the text messages and did intend to carry out the threats. Dampier told Galarza that he did not have a firearm, or immediate access to one, but was going to try to borrow one from a neighbor or purchase one from a store. Dampier went on to tell Galarza that once he obtained a firearm, he was going to Hernando High School to “shoot anyone who pissed me off…” Dampier knew that what he was texting and what he planned to do was wrong, but was so upset, he just wanted to hurt people.
James Fletcher Dampier Jr. W/M DOB/08-09-2000 was placed under arrest and transported to the Hernando County Detention Center. Dampier was later transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in Ocala, where he remains.
Dampier is charged as follows:
– Written Threats to Kill or Injure (two counts).
Sheriff Al Nienhuis would like to thank the two extremely brave students who came forward with the text messages, as their actions have very likely thwarted a tragedy in Hernando County.