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2 South Pasadena teens arrested for school shooting plot

August 19, 2014
People walk past South Pasadena, Calif., High School Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, after authorities announced the arrest of two high school students suspected of planning a massacre at the school after investigators monitored their Internet activities. South Pasadena police chief Arthur Miller said that school officials had heard about the plot and informed police, who determined the threat was credible. Police say the boys, ages 16 and 17, didn't have weapons but were researching automatic weapons and explosives, especially propane. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

People walk past South Pasadena, Calif., High School Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, after authorities announced the arrest of two high school students suspected of planning a massacre at the school after investigators monitored their Internet activities. South Pasadena police chief Arthur Miller said that school officials had heard about the plot and informed police, who determined the threat was credible. Police say the boys, ages 16 and 17, didn’t have weapons but were researching automatic weapons and explosives, especially propane. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Police say they had a “viable” plan to “kill as many people as possible”

SOUTH PASADENA (CNS) – Two South Pasadena High School students had a “viable” plan in the works to carry out a large-scale massacre at the campus targeting specific staff members and as many students as possible, the city’s police chief said today.

Although the alleged plot appeared to be in its infancy, with no target date set for the attack and no weapons in their possession, the students had gone to great lengths to research weaponry and tactics online, Chief Art Miller said.

“In our opinion, it was very viable what they were plotting,” Miller said. “They were making a huge plan of a school massacre that identified three staff members at the school by name that they were targeting, along with some
random students, as they called it. They just wanted to, as they put it, they just wanted to kill as many people as possible.”

He said police were notified by the school on Thursday about the possible attack, and detectives worked “around the clock” until the suspects — two boys aged 16 and 17 — were arrested Monday. Their names were not released due to their ages.

They were being held on suspicion of conspiracy and criminal threats.

Detectives were expected to present the case to the District Attorney’s Office later today for consideration of possible criminal charges.

Police said one student was arrested without incident, but the second resisted, prompting officers to force their way inside and take him into custody as he tried to flee.

“Three or four days worth of surveillance on the Internet indicated that they had a very real threat,” Miller said. “They had a plan in mind that they were going to execute. And later on, during our investigative interviews with the suspects, they more or less confirmed what they had talked about, very cold-heartedly in the … interviews.”

Miller said the FBI was assisting investigators, primarily by doing forensic work on the suspects’ computers. He said investigators had been monitoring the students’ activity on social media, and that monitoring bolstered their belief the plot was viable.

“They (the FBI) will offer some guidance on how the investigation should proceed because there was some talk within the chatter on the Internet about making explosive devices, bombs and what not,” Miller said.

He said the plot was at the beginning stages, but the suspects were “steadfast” in their discussions about the alleged attack. ”It was something that we didn’t want to take as a hoax,” he said.

Miller declined to discuss a possible motive behind the alleged attack.  Suffice it to say that any motive would not rise to the level of the response that they had,” he said.

Miller said that while no weapons were found in their possession, the suspects had discussed having access to a weapon owned by a relative of one of them. He also noted that the students had done extensive research on how to carry out an attack.

“They had researched weaponry, how to make explosives, how to disarm people,” he said. “They were researching tactical elements on how to go in and be the aggressor with firearms.”

When school begins Thursday, extra security will be on hand at all South Pasadena schools, the chief said.

“I just want the community to know this is something we take very seriously and something that we’re going to address every single time,” the chief said. “We’re going to do everything we can to keep our community safe. We don’t take threats lightly. We will investigate them all.”

He said security is usually stepped up on the first day of school, but this year it will be even more visible.

“In this case, I’ve asked for off-duty officers to come in and work around the schools, conducting foot beats, driving their patrol cars. I want there to be a sense of safety in our community. I’m only doing this for the fact that I want people to feel very comfortable that they’re being properly secured.”

Miller credited the school and community for bringing the alleged plot to the attention of police.

2 Comments

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    • austin

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