Two South Pasadena High School students were arrested after allegedly plotting a mass shooting at the school, police announced Monday evening.
South Pasadena Police Department detectives began an investigation after receiving information from school officials that the students were allegedly planning “to kill 3 staff members and as many students as possible with firearms,” a news release from the department stated.
After serving warrants at their homes, detectives were able to obtain enough evidence to arrest the students, police said.
One of the students was taken into custody without incident, but the other, identified as a male, resisted and tried to flee, according to the release. He was eventually caught by arresting officers.
The detectives “stopped a potential mass shooting” as a result of the arrests, the release stated.
“This is a prime example of school officials recognizing suspicious behavior. It was this information that helped prevent a horrific tragedy,” Sgt. Brian Solinsky said in the release.
After learning about the alleged plot, students and parents expressed shock that the school may have been targeted.
“It makes me feel scared to be a student here,” Spencer Gurley, a student at the high school said.
Another student, Chris Koo, added, “I never thought a student would have a problem with the faculty or students, to go to the extent to kill people.”
In a letter to parents and employees, Geoff Yantz, the superintendent of the South Pasadena Unified School District, addressed the arrests and called the alleged threat “credible.”
“The police have the situation under control and there is currently no threat to students or employees,” Yantz said. “The School Board and I appreciate the immediate response by the South Pasadena Police Department, and school will begin on as planned.”
Psychologists and counselors would be available for students and employees to speak with when school is back in session, he added.
“School starts on Thursday, and I’m pretty sure a lot of people will be talking about it,” said Owen Carlson, an incoming freshman.
Gurley reflected that if the pair hadn’t been caught, they would have been at school the first day back.
“And you know, that could have ended very badly for a lot of students here,” he said.