Five teenagers from Riverton High School in Riverton, Kansas were arrested after their plans to shoot up the school were discovered on...where else...MySpace...
Sheriff's deputies found guns, ammunition, knives and coded messages in the bedroom of one suspect, Sheriff Steve Norman said. Authorities also found documents about firearms in two suspects' school lockers.
"What the resounding theme is: They were actually going to do this," Norman said.
Norman said he would ask prosecutors to bring charges of conspiracy to commit murder against the teens, ages 16 to 18. He said the state attorney general would handle the prosecution.
Deputies' interviews with the suspects indicated they planned to wear black trench coats and disable the school's camera system before starting the attack between noon and 1 p.m. Thursday, Norman said. The suspects apparently had been plotting since the beginning of the school year.
Officials at Riverton High School began investigating on Tuesday after learning that a threatening message had been posted on MySpace.com, he said.
"The message, it was brief, but it stated that there was going to be a shooting at the Riverton school and that people should wear bulletproof vests and flakjackets," Norman said.
School officials identified the student who posted the message and talked to several of his friends, Norman said.
But Riverton school district Superintendent David Walters said the significance of the threat didn't become clear until Wednesday night, after a woman in North Carolina who had chatted with one of the suspects on Myspace.com received a list of about a dozen potential victims, including at least one staff member. She notified authorities in her state, who contacted the sheriff's department, Norman said.
And let's throw in the required excuse while we're at it...
Norman said that the potential victims were popular students and that the suspects may have been bullied.
"I think there was probably some bullying, name calling, chastising," he said.
Because as we all know the rational answer to bullying is mass murder. That was sarcasm in case you couldn't tell.
More on this as information becomes available.