Locust Grove Teens In Custody For Planning School Shooting
LOCUST GROVE, Oklahoma - Locust Grove Police say a shooting plot was stopped before it could happen, thanks to a tip about alarming posts on social media.
Investigators said the three teenage students who were planning the shooting are in detention centers right now.
One of the teenagers told investigators bullying was the motive behind the shooting plot.
A Facebook post from one of the three students shows the Columbine shooters; another post reads 'Better run faster than my bullets."
Captain Rod Howell with the Mayes County Sheriff's Office said, "Obviously, that sends a flag immediately up."
The Mayes County Sheriff's Office said the threat goes beyond someone typing Facebook statuses. Howell said three 15-year-olds put together a plan.
"You have a person that basically states to the other kids, 'Look, I'm sick of being bullied. I'm gonna shoot up the school. I'm gonna dress in a black trench coat. I've been watching 99 Columbine,’" Howell said.
The students went to Locust Grove High School when school wasn't in session, Howell said, studying the entrances and exits to make a diagram for their plan.
Investigators haven't found a diagram, but Howell said one of the teens took action - looking for a gun by asking other students if their dad had one.
"We did interview all these people in question and we were able to corroborate that there was some visits that took place like that, which is alarming," he said.
A school administrator called the sheriff's office Tuesday about the threats and later found out he was singled out in the plan.
The students told investigators this was all just a prank, but Howell said there are too many red flags to ignore - and they take every threat seriously.
"We're not saying that this was gonna happen. It was just basically all the indicators were there that this could be something that could occur," Howell said.
The teens could face charges of conspiracy to perform acts of violence.
School leaders released a statement saying, “We are thankful to the Mayes County Sheriff’s office for their quick action and response in keeping our students safe. As always our student’s safety is our foremost concern. Because this an ongoing investigation, we are unable to make further comments at this time.”
Some parents we spoke with said even though the school informed law enforcement, they could have done a better job communicating with parents about what happened.