Two teenage boys who allegedly planned a “massacre” at South Pasadena High School had threatened to kill another teen who knew about the plot, authorities said Wednesday.
The boys, ages 16 and 17, were set to appear on criminal charges at Pasadena Juvenile Court. They were not identified because they are juveniles.
The teens talked about carrying out a mass shooting at the high-achieving school in an affluent suburb that borders northeast Los Angeles, according to police.
They shared their alleged plans with another teen, whom they on Aug. 16 threatened to kill, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which announced the charges.
The two boys, who share the same Dec. 11 birthday, were charged with one count each of making criminal threats, the DA’s office stated.
In advance of the first day of school on Thursday, a prayer vigil was held Wednesday evening, followed by a walk to the campus.
“It’s so hard to even grasp,” said parent Karin Trimuth. “How could anyone feel disenfranchised enough to want to harm other students or faculty?”
Parents expressed compassion for the students in custody, wondering what conditions led them to consider their alleged plans.
The South Pasadena Police Department announced the boys’ arrest on Monday night, providing further details at a news conference Tuesday.
“It was very viable, what they were plotting. They were making a huge plan of a school massacre that identified three staff members at the school by name that they were targeting,” as well as “random” students, police Chief Arthur Miller said.
“They just wanted to kill as many people as possible,” he said.
The teen were just beginning to plan their efforts, which they discussed on social media, Miller said.
No weapons were found when the students were detained, but the pair believed they had access to a firearm belonging to a relative, Miller said.
The two boys discussed using automatic weapons, knives, bombs and wearing bulletproof vests, according to the chief.