Authorities say four teens have been charged with conspiracy to attack a Pennsylvania high school in 2024 on the 25th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado
DUNMORE, Pa .– Four teenagers have been charged with a conspiracy to attack a Pennsylvania high school in 2024, marking the 25th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, authorities said.
A 15-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy are indicted as adults and two other teenagers face juvenile charges as part of the plan to attack Dunmore High School, outside of Scranton, on April 20, 2024, the authorities announced. Investigators said the girl’s mother told police her daughter was “obsessed with Columbine,” The Times-Tribune reported on Friday.
“While the investigation is ongoing, I would like to assure the parents, students and staff of Dunmore High School that we do not believe there is an active threat at this time,” the prosecutor said. District Councilor Mark Powell in a statement. “We are relieved that this plot was uncovered before anyone was injured and urge anyone with information about potential threats of violence in the school to immediately contact the police. “
A Molotov cocktail, bomb components, writings on bomb making and handwritten lists of firearms, ammunition and tactical equipment with prices were found at the girl’s home, investigators said. in a criminal complaint.
The Times-Tribune reported that the girl’s mother and defense attorney Corey Eagen declined to comment, while the other teenager accused as an adult did not have a lawyer when Friday’s arraignment. Powell declined to comment on the charges against the minors.
The mother of one of the teens accused of being a minor discovered text messages on her child’s cell phone on July 6, in which a group was discussing plans to “blow up the school,” the officials said. investigators in the complaint. The teenager told investigators he thought it was blustering until he saw 20 to 30 Molotov cocktails on the girl’s porch.
Dunmore Schools Superintendent John Marichak told the newspaper he was dismayed but relieved by the arrests. A statement posted on the district’s website said authorities assured officials there was “no current danger to students or staff.”
Principal Timothy Hopkins, who was one of the officials targeted, said he knew the two teens accused of being adults and described them as calm kids who were not troublemakers. He said he had no idea why they would seek to harm him, other than his position as manager.
“It’s a little disturbing to find out that something like this was being plotted,” he told The Times-Tribune.
The two teenagers charged as adults were taken to the Northampton County Juvenile Justice Center following their arraignment on September 16 for weapons of mass destruction, terrorist threat, aggravated assault, criminal association and possession of explosives. The girl is also accused of risking disaster because of the threat the explosive devices pose to family members and neighbors, police said.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled for October 4.