FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WRIC) – Two teens are behind bars after officials say they plotted a mass shooting at a Spotsylvania County high school.
Deputies with the sheriff’s office say two Riverbend High School students, just 15 and 17 years old, were planning to shoot up students and faculty at their school.
“We were able to catch this thing long before it became a different kind of story,” said Capt. Jeffery Pearce at a news conference Saturday.
“Their plot was to phone in a bomb threat and then shoot people as they came out,” said Bill Neely, the Spotsylvania County Commonwealth’s Attorney.
It started Oct. 12 when the school resource officer arrested the 17-year-old male at the school.
“Information had been developed by the SRO of the student’s intention to commit and act of violence against others in the school,” said Sheriff Roger L. Harris.
An investigation later linked a second student to the plot. Friday, the 15-year-old was arrested.
“It was a credible threat,” said Pearce.
After searching the students’ homes, both males were charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Deputies say they had access to firearms.
“[We were] able to mitigate the danger long before it was able of any chance to coming to fruition. And there was no immediate threat to the safety of our kids and our faculty,” said Harris.
SROs go through special training in the county. The sheriff’s office credits Riverbend’s SRO and other deputies for preventing what could’ve been a nightmare.
“We stopped them cold, and hopefully this will lend itself to anyone else thinking of trying something similar,” said Capt. Pearce.
“Details of resulting investigation can create considerable concerns for our students and parents. Our school administration and staff will continue to support students in the coming days,” said Spotsylvania County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Baker.
Officials don’t believe anyone else was involved the plan.