Two teenage boys amassed a cache of guns, ammunition, bombs and other weapons at their homes and apparently planned to use them to attack their high school, authorities said Thursday.
The boys, both 17, were arrested Thursday morning at East High School, but their identities were not released pending possible charges, authorities said.
Police Chief Craig Van Schyndle said officers who found the materials also found suicide notes.
“From statements that we heard it gave us great concern that, yes, it was in the very near future something was going to take place,” he said.
The school resource officer also “learned these two students were obsessed with pain, death, and had suicidal thoughts,” Van Schyndle said.
‘A Columbine waiting to happen’
Police raided their homes and found the guns, ammunition, several bombs, bomb-making material, camouflage clothing, helmets and gas masks. No weapons were found at the school. The chief said the students had learned bomb-making on the Internet.
“This was a Columbine waiting to happen, from the briefing that I’ve had” said prosecutor John Zakowski. “Only they know how close it was to being reality.”
Zakowski said he can’t say what charges might be filed until interviews are finished, but any charges will be handled in adult court. The police chief said authorities were considering charges of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit arson.
School Superintendent Dan Nerad credited school staff and their relationships with students for allowing them to learn of the situation and immediately get the school resource officer involved.
“I think the important thing is that nothing did happen, and that this was indeed averted today,” Mayor Jim Schmitt said.