Just a week after a disaffected teen severely wounded a fellow student at his Colorado high school before killing himself, police arrested two other boys Friday on suspicion of plotting to similarly shoot up their high school in the same state.
Trinidad High School, Trinidad Middle School and Fisher's Peak School in Trinidad were on "lockout" status — sealing children and staff inside — for most of Thursday until it was determined that the boys weren't in class.
The boys — who weren't identified because they are juveniles ages 15 and 16 — face charges of making a credible threat to a school and felony inciting destruction of life or property, Trinidad police said Friday.
They'd been planning for at least six weeks to open fire in the high school once classes resume next month after the winter break, police said.
Trinidad, 75 miles south of Pueblo near the New Mexico border, is about 170 miles south of Centennial, where Karl Halverson Pierson, 18, shot a fellow student and committed suicide last week at Arapahoe High School. Monday, a 14-year-old student was arrested for allegedly making similar threats at Black Hills High School in Tumwater, Wash.
Trinidad police said the younger of the two boys arrested Friday had been bullied and had talked about "idolizing" three other Colorado mass killers — Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who killed 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999, and James Eagan Holmes, who faces trial in the shootings that killed 12 people at a movie theater last year in Aurora.
Washington police said the boy who threatened the Tumwater school also had "expressed fascination" with Harris and Klebold.
Police Chief Charles Glorioso said the school's resource officer — Nick Mattorano, a Trinidad police officer — learned of the threats early Thursday, the last day of classes before the winter break.
The 15-year-old boy denied having threatened the school when questioned by police, but teachers and other students told investigators they had heard him make the threats.
No information was available about the older of the two boys, including his relationship to the 15-year-old or how deeply he may have been involved.
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First published December 20 2013, 6:25 PM