DUNMORE, Pa. (AP) — Four teenagers have been charged with a plot to attack a Pennsylvania high school in 2024, on the 25th anniversary of the massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School, authorities said.
Authorities said that a 15-year old girl and a 15-yearold boy were charged as adults, while two other teens are facing juvenile charges in connection with the plot to attack Dunmore High School outside Scranton on April 20, 2024. According to The Times-Tribune, investigators found that the girl’s mother claimed her daughter was obsessed with Columbine.
District Attorney Mark Powell released a statement, saying that the investigation was ongoing and that he did not believe there was an active threat. “We are glad that this plot was found before anyone was hurt. We urge anyone with information on potential threats to school violence or other dangers to contact the police immediately.
Investigators stated in a criminal complaint that they found a Molotov cocktail, bomb-making instructions, handwritten lists, prices, and written materials about guns, ammunition, and tactical gear at the girl’s house.
The Times-Tribune reported Friday’s arraignment that the other teen accused as an adult was not represented by a lawyer. The girl’s mother, Corey Eagen, her defense attorney, declined to comment. Powell declined to comment about the juvenile charges.
One of the teenagers charged as juveniles’ mother discovered text messages on her child’s cell phone July 6. In these texts, a group discussed plans “shooting down the school”, according to the complaint. Investigators said that the teen initially thought it was bluster, but then he saw between 20 and 30 Molotov cocktails on the porch of the girl.
John Marichak, superintendent of Dunmore schools, stated that he was both shocked and relieved by these arrests. According to a statement posted on the district’s website, authorities assured staff and students that there was no current danger.
Timothy Hopkins, principal, was one among the targets. Hopkins said he knew both teens and described them as calm children who weren’t troublemakers. He stated that he did not know why the boys would attempt to harm Hopkins, except for his role as principal.
According to the Times-Tribune, “It’s quite disturbing to discover that something like this was being planned.”
Following their Sept. 16 arraignment, the teens were taken to Northampton County Juvenile Justice Center on charges of weapons of mass devastation, terroristic threats, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy. Police said that the girl was also charged with putting at risk catastrophe due to the danger posed by the explosives to her family and neighbors.
Oct. 4 is the date for preliminary hearings.