TRINIDAD, Colo. -- Police in southern Colorado said Friday they thwarted a school shooting plot by two teenagers, one of whom was said to idolize mass shooters, just a week after a student opened fire in the halls of a suburban Denver high school.
Trinidad Police Chief Charles Glorioso said the department’s school resource officer got a tip Thursday that two boys, ages 15 and 16, planned an attack at Trinidad High School after winter break. Because of the warning, extra security was in place at three Trinidad schools Thursday, the last day of classes before the break.
Glorioso said investigators learned the 15-year-old had been bullied and had said he idolized the shooters in the Columbine High School and Aurora theater massacres in Colorado. The teens were arrested Friday on suspicion of making a credible threat against a school and inciting destruction of life or property.
The arrests come on the heels of the Dec. 13 shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., where Karl Halverson Pierson, 18, opened fire, hitting Claire Davis, 17, a fellow senior, before killing himself. Davis remains in critical condition.
Glorioso, who said the two boys in Trinidad planned the attack for about a month and a half, would not release the details of the plot or how they planned to carry it out. He said a search of the teens’ homes did not turn up any weapons, but “they had talked about what they could do to get them.”
Frank Ruybalid, district attorney for Las Animas and Huerfano counties, said that he couldn’t discuss the specifics of the case because it involved juveniles. But he said he supported the response by police and the school district.
“Any evidence regarding a threat to students at our schools is going to be taken very seriously,” he said.