Teens charged in South Pasadena High murder plot released to parents

Police foiled a mass-shooting plot allegedly planned by two students at South Pasadena High School in August.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Two South Pasadena teenagers accused of planning a mass shooting at their high school were ordered on Tuesday to be released from custody to their parents.

The 16-year-old and 17-year-old are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threats. They have denied the allegations.

A judge on Tuesday in a closed-door Juvenile Court session directed that the youths be released to their parents pending an Oct. 30 pretrial hearing, a district attorney’s office spokesman said.

The youths’ names have not been made public because they are charged as juveniles. They have both been in juvenile detention since their arrest last month.


Shortly after they were taken into custody, South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller said the teenagers had developed a huge plan to carry out a mass school shooting in which they wanted to kill “as many people as possible.”

They swapped ideas over Skype about using explosives and firearms to target three school staff members and kill as many students as they could, according to authorities.

Police, notified of the potential threat by a school administrator, monitored the teenagers’ communications.

While police say the arrests prevented a Columbine-style massacre, an attorney who represented one of the youths previously told The Times that he believes prosecutors do not have enough evidence to get convictions on the most serious charges. He noted that authorities found no weapons in the youths’ possession.

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