Tuolumne County Sheriff’s detectives thwarted a plot by four students last week to go on a shooting rampage at Summerville High School near Yosemite National Park, authorities said.
“The suspects’ plan was very detailed in nature and included names of would be victims, locations, and the methods in which the plan was to be carried out.” Sheriff Jim Mele told reporters at a news conference. The four students, all male, were arrested on suspicion of consipriacy to commit assault with deadly weapons and have confessed to the plot.
“They were going to come on campus and shoot and kill as many people as possible at the campus,” Mele told the Modesto Bee.
Suspects were overheard by other students talking about their plans and fellow students notified administrators. School staff on the Tuolumne campus immediately called the sheriff’s department. Detectives later found evidence that the suspects planned to act during an upcoming campus event, the news organizations reported. No weapons were found, but Mele said the students were in the process of trying to obtain them in order to carry out the attack.
“I believe, with all my heart, the reason we were able to stop this was because we have a level of trust within our community,” Mele said. “When you have a level of trust with the law enforcement, your education – we meet monthly, we meet constantly – you can do this.”
Assistant District Attorney Eric Hovatter says his office will collect information on the case from the sheriff’s department and begin to decide what charges will be filed. The four suspects will be arraigned as juveniles before a Tuolumne County Superior Court Judge this week.
Several presidential candidates jumped into the discussion of allowing guns on campus as well as tougher gun laws over the weekend in response to the school shooting on the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon last Thursday.
“By the way, it was a gun-free zone,” Donald Trump said at a campaign event in Franklin, Tennessee. “Let me tell you, if you had a couple teachers with guns in that room, you would have been a hell of a lot better off.”
“It’s just, it’s very sad to see, but I resist the notion [of passing gun control laws after tragedies] – I had this challenge as governor because we had – look, stuff happens. There’s always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.” Jeb Bush stated during a press stop in Greenville, South Carolina.
“What is wrong with us, that we cannot stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby, and the gun manufacturers they represent?” Clinton said while campaigning in Davie, Florida. “This is not just tragic. We don’t just need to pray for people. We need to act and we need to build a movement. It’s infuriating.” Ms. Clinton also added: “Republicans keep refusing to do anything to protect our communities. They put the NRA ahead of American families.”
But none of the 21 contenders for the White House was more immediately forceful in a call for reform than former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley. “Tweets won’t stop this. Thoughts and prayers won’t, either.” the Democrat wrote on Twitter. “Only real gun reforms will stop mass shootings from occurring nearly every day,”