WASHINGTON, Va. (AP) — A Virginia teenager has been arrested on a weapons charge after court records say he threatened to carry out a violent attack on his school on the anniversary of the Columbine massacre.
A fellow student told police the 17-year-old had talked frequently throughout the school year about the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Rappahannock County.
The student then began to share details about a plot with a 16-year-old student to carry out a similar attack on April 20, the 18th anniversary of the shooting, according to the affidavit.
The allegations contained in the affidavit were first reported Sunday by The Rappahannock News .
“I can’t wait to make Columbine look like a joke,” the 17-year-old student said, according to the affidavit. “I’m going to blow this place to pieces.”
The 17-year-old said he had ordered explosives and described the guns he would use in the attack on his school in the small town of Washington, Virginia, about an hour and a half drive southwest of Washington, D.C., according to the affidavit.
Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office said last week the 17-year-old suspect had been arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess a firearm on school property. The teen is being held in a juvenile detention center, the statement said.
Authorities seized documents, a hockey mask, computers and an Xbox game console from the suspect’s home, court records say.
The status of the 16-year-old wasn’t immediately clear, though Rappahannock County Sheriff Connie Compton told the newspaper he is no longer attending the high school.
Neither Compton nor the local commonwealth’s attorney returned multiple messages from The Associated Press.
Rappahannock County Schools Superintendent Dr. Gary Blair declined to discuss the status of the younger student but told the AP he’s confident the school no longer faces a threat.
Blair said Monday that he first learned of the investigation into the threat against Rappahannock County High School on April 11. The following week, he sent a letter to parents saying administrators and the sheriff’s department had “removed the threat,” he said.
The school, which has about 360 students, has instituted new security measures as a precaution, including new procedures on student movement through the building, he said.
AP generally does not name juveniles accused of crimes. It was not immediately clear if either teen has an attorney. Attempts to reach relatives were not immediately successful.