Four Dunmore, PA. teenagers have been charged with planning to attack a Pennsylvania high school in 2024, on the 25th anniversary of the massacre at Colorado's Columbine High School, according to authorities.
According to investigators, a 15-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy have been charged as adults and two teenagers have been charged as juveniles, in the plan to attack Dunmore High School, on April 20, 2024. Investigators said one girl's mother told police that her daughter was "obsessed with Columbine,"
"While the investigation is ongoing, I want to assure the parents, students and staff at Dunmore High School that we do not believe there is any active threat at this time," District Attorney Mark Powell said in a statement. "We are relieved that this plot was uncovered before anyone was hurt and urge anyone who has information about potential threats of school violence to contact police immediately."
According to a criminal complaint, a molotov cocktail, components for bombs, instructions on how to make bombs, and handwritten lists of guns and the prices for ammunition and tactical gear were found at the girl's home.
The Times-Tribune reported that the girl’s mother and defense attorney Corey Eagen declined to comment, the other teen charged as an adult did not have a lawyer during Friday’s arraignment. Powell made no comment on the juvenile charges.
The mother of one of the teens charged as a juvenile found text messages on her child's cell phone July 6 of a group conversation discussing plans to "shoot up the school," investigators said in the complaint. The teen told investigators that he thought it was just a joke until he saw 20 to 30 Molotov cocktails under the girl's porch.
Dunmore schools Superintendent John Marichak said that he was stunned by the plot but was satisfied with the arrests. A statement on the district’s website said authorities told officials that there was "no current danger to students or staff."
Principal Timothy Hopkins, one of the officials the teens had targeted, said he knows the two teens charged as adults and described them as quiet children who weren’t troublemakers, adding that he had no idea why they would target him, other than his position as principal.
"It's a little bit disturbing to find out something like that was being plotted," he said.
The two teens that were charged as adults were taken to the Northampton County Juvenile Justice Center following their Sept. 16 arraignment for charges of weapons of mass destruction, terroristic threat, aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and possession of explosive material. The girl faced an additional charge of risking catastrophe due to the threat the explosive devices posed to family members and neighbors.
Preliminary hearings are set for Oct. 4