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High school students accused of planning attack on Columbine anniversary
Four high school students in Pennsylvania have been accused of planning a school shooting in 2024, on the 25th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
Lackawanna County District Attorney Mark Powell said Friday that two of the students, a 15-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl, have been charged as adults due to the nature of the alleged crimes, ABC27 News reported.
The female teen is charged with possessing weapons of mass destruction, terroristic threats, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy. The male teen is charged with possessing weapons of mass destruction, possessing explosive materials, criminal conspiracy, terroristic threats, criminal conspiracy and aggravated assault.
Court documents show the group was allegedly planning to attack Dunmore High School on April 20, 2024, using guns and bombs.
Authorities said that the teenagers titled the alleged plot "Natural Born Killers" and said in a group chat they would "shoot up the school." They also called "dibs" on certain victims, authorities said.
The texts allegedly said that the 15-year-old girl had materials to make explosives at her home, which officers discovered through a search warrant, according to the local outlet.
Police also found a notebook where she allegedly idolized the Columbine shooters and the guns they used. She allegedly told the group she would get trench coats, gas masks and bulletproof vests for everyone.
The planning for the purported attack started in September 2020 when the female teenager told the male teenager about Columbine. The girl's mother said her daughter was obsessed with the shooting, according to the court documents.
"While the investigation is ongoing, I want to assure the parents, students and staff at Dunmore High School that we do not believe there is any active threat at this time," Powell said. "We are relieved that this plot was uncovered before anyone was hurt and urge anyone who has information about potential threats of school violence to contact police immediately."
The school also posted a statement saying there is "no current danger to students and staff."