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Students Who Reported Ore. School Shooting Plot Praised

As the investigation reveals more information, it appears the brave students may have prevented a mass shooting.

Police in Newberg, Ore., say the heroic acts of students who recently reported a school shooting plot prevented a tragedy.

The reports led to the arrest of a 17-year-old and the discovery of a detailed, actionable plan that police have characterized as a “credible threat of violence.”

“I think they’re heroes,” Beaverton Police Chief Geoff Spalding said of the students who reported the plan. “I think they did the right thing and this is what we would encourage any student to do.”

It began in early March when a male student at Newberg High School told classmates about his plan to carry out a school shooting. The students quickly reported the plot to school counselors, who alerted authorities.

In response, Newberg police detained and questioned two students on March 3, eventually charging one of them with attempted first degree assault and attempted unlawful use of a weapon.

When police searched the 17-year-old boy’s home, they discovered a journal that contained a detailed shooting plan and a school map. The student’s plan involved chaining and locking the high school’s exits and planting bombs around campus to create “kill zones.” The student wrote that he would start by killing the school resource officer and would “personally kill at least 100 people,” according to kgw.com.

The student had initially planned to carry out his attack on the last day of the school year, but moved the attack date up when he realized there would be fewer students in the school right before summer break.

“It was not one off-handed comment,” Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry said. “It was not jotting down some place ‘I think I want to take out X,Y,Z.’ It was much more complex planning than that.”

Court documents show that the boy attempted to obtain his mother’s gun but couldn’t because it was locked in a safe.

As more terrifying details emerge, police are continuing to praise the students who came forward.

“Congratulations to those youths for really saving lives of other kids,” Clachamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said. Roberts chairs a statewide task force that focuses on ending school violence. He urged other students to report anything that might lead to violence.

Newburg High School, which enrolls 1,445 students, continued to hold classes following the student’s arrest.

Up next: School Resource Officer Pursued Suspect in Ohio School Shooting

About the Author

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Zach Winn is a journalist living in the Boston area. He was previously a reporter for Wicked Local and graduated from Keene State College in 2014, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and minoring in political science.

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