Two South Pasadena High School students entering their senior year have been arrested for allegedly plotting a mass shooting to be carried out on the first day of the new school year on Thursday.
According to the South Pasadena Police Department, acting on tips from school officials, police arrested two adolescents who planned to kill three faculty members and then kill as many students as possible. NBC4 Los Angeles reported that the teenagers, who were not identified, were not in possession of weapons but planned to obtain them.
Sgt. Brian Solinsky, of the South Pasadena Police Department said, “This is a prime example of school officials recognizing suspicious behavior… It was this information that helped prevent a horrific tragedy.”
According to the NBC report, detectives served warrants on the students at their homes and discovered enough evidence to make arrests. One of the students tried to flee when the detectives arrived but was apprehended. The other student gave himself up without incident.
NBC4 reported that the mother of one of the students expressed shock that her child was planning such a horrific plot. Meanwhile, the father of one of the teenagers insisted that his son was not going to hurt anyone and said he was “just very worried about their boy.”
Superintendent Geoff Yantz assured students, parents, and employees of South Pasadena High School that the police “have the situation under control,” and that school will commence on Thursday as scheduled. “There is currently no threat to students or employees,” said Yantz.
That being said, some students aren’t feeling quite as confident as the Superintendent. “It makes me feel scared to be a student here. Just the idea that if they hadn’t been caught, that they could have been at the school on Thursday, it could have ended very badly for a lot of students here,” Spencer Gurley, a student at the high school, told KTLA on Monday.
South Pasadena Mayor Marina Khubesrian addressed the incident and said, “Parents are expressing a lot of sadness with this news, a lot of fear. Wondering about whether there’ll be increased police presence in the schools, and in general a lot of concern… Thank God that this was averted.”
A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday.