TUOLUMNE COUNTY (CBS13) – Four teens have been arrested, accused of plotting an attack at their Tuolumne County high school.
On September 30, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputies were contacted by administrators at Summerville High School, in the town of Tuolumne, who said three students were plotting an attack on faculty members and students, according to a statement from the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department.
Through the course of their investigation, detectives identified a fourth suspect. The plot was in its early stages and involved weapons, authorities say.
“It’s particularly unsettling when our most precious assets – which are our students, their teachers – are targets for violence,” said Sheriff James Mele.
At a Saturday afternoon press conference, the Tuolumne County Sheriff revealed that the suspects had a list of students and staff at the school they were allegedly targeting.
Students who noticed the suspicious activities of the suspects are being credited with bringing the plot to light and reporting it to authorities.
The sheriff is also crediting the suspect students’ families for being cooperative with the investigation.
“I think children today have a hard time trying to understand the difference between what is reality and what is fiction,” Mele said. “I don’t know why, but I do know the discussion needs to start not only in our community but across the nation: what can we do to stop this violence?”
No further threat exists at the school, authorities stress.
Detectives arrested four juvenile suspects on charges of conspiracy to commit assault with deadly weapons. The names of the suspects, who are all juveniles, will not be released due to their age.
Counselors will be at Summerville High School, which will be operating as normal, on Monday for any students who may need them.