A group of teenagers has been charged with plotting a school shooting at Dunmore High School in Pennsylvania on the 25th anniversary of the Columbine massacre in Colorado on April 20, 2024.
Alyssa Kucharski and Zavier Lewis, who are 15 years old, have been arrested for aggravated assault, terroristic threats, unlawful possession of weapons, possession of explosive material, and criminal conspiracy. Though they are minors, Kucharski and Lewis were charged as adults because of the gravity of their intentions. Their two other companions, who will remain unnamed as minors, will be tried as juveniles.
Authorities acted on a complaint against the teenagers, who were allegedly plotting the school shooting, and named three teachers at Dunmore High School as the targets, per CNN.
Obsessed with Columbine
Kucharski's mother told police that the 15-year-old girl was obsessed with the Columbine massacre when she turned 11 or 12 years old. When the authorities questioned her, Kucharski admitted that she found the deadliest school shooting in the history of the U.S. to be very interesting that she planned on recreating it and topping the kill count with her friends in 2024, their graduation year.
A search of the Kucharski house showed that teens made explosive devices, including Molotov cocktails, which they had planned to test by the river. They used digital cameras to document their activities. The cops also uncovered drawings of other weapons of mass destruction prepared by the group. Kucharski also scribbled details of the Columbine massacre in her notebook, which had the background of the shooters from the 1999 attack.
The teens discussed their plans online in the group chat Natural Born Killers, which Kucharski started. A parent of one of the teens charged as a juvenile saw the messages and informed the police.
Kucharski's mother has hired defense lawyer Corey Eagen while the rest of the teenagers do not have private lawyers. However, Kucharski told the police that their group had not made any explosives nor discussed their school shooting plans for some time.
On the other hand, Lewis admitted to the cops that he doesn't like most people in his high school, but he joined the group chat because he wanted to convince Kucharski to drop her plans. Both teenagers charged as adults are not allowed to post bail, and they remain locked up at the Lackawanna County Prison as they await their hearing in October.
No Threats to the High School
District Attorney Mark Powell, on the other hand, assured the Dunmore High School community that there were no active threats. The investigation will continue as the perpetrators are behind bars.
Principal Timothy Hopkins, one of the students' targets, said that he knows Kucharski and Lewis to be quiet teenagers who are not troublemakers. He has no idea why they want to cause him and the other staff harm, other than their positions as authority figures.
The Columbine massacre, which gripped international headlines, was carried out by students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, two senior students, who murdered 12 of their schoolmates and one teacher. After the attack, the pair also took their own lives but left 21 more people injured as they exchanged bullets with the cops.
© 2021 ParentHerald.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.