Two teenage boys who planned a school shooting in California said they were targeting three specific school teachers, and then intended to gun down as many of their fellow students as they could at their Southern California high school. The suspects were arrested Monday.
Writes The Associated Press via Yahoo! News: “The boys, who did not yet have weapons but were trying to get them, had been under constant surveillance since the school district informed police of their plans last Thursday, South Pasadena police Sgt. Brian Solinsky said.”
The 16 and 17-year old, whose names were not released, were found to have made very specific plans – both regarding who they planned to take down and in their research of rifles, guns, weapon permits, bomb making and propane on the Internet and discussions had via social media. The teens planned to kill, then be killed themselves in a shootout with cops.
“This is a prime example of school officials recognizing suspicious behavior,” Solinsky said. “It was this information that helped prevent a horrific tragedy.”
Warrants executed at the boys’ homes revealed the extensive plans the pair had made. Neither of the boys had yet secured any weapons, but they were in the process of getting them.
“They were researching weapons and how to fire and assemble them,” police Sgt. Robert Bartl added.
Writes the AP report:
The boys were both about to begin their senior year at South Pasadena High School in the community of about 25,000 people eight miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. One of them resisted, and police had to break into his house to take him into custody as he tried to run, Solinsky said.
The capture of the teens averted a mass shooting that would have been a “school massacre,” said Pasadena Police Chief Arthur Miller.
“They were talking about mass murder,” Miller said. “In their mind, they would start randomly shooting children. I think the plan was very viable and that we got them in the beginning of their plot.There was no target date, but they had a very, very specific plan about how they were going to carry out their sick mission.”
The teens are being held in a juvenile center. No charges have been brought; police and the FBI are still investigating and charges are expected to be filed this week.
Writes the Contra Costa Times: “Mass shootings have been on the rise with California leading the pack for the most incidents, according to data from the Stanford Geospatial Center. Since 1966 the Golden State has had 26 massacres that killed 125 people and injured 160 others.”