Two South Pasadena High School students were arrested in connection with planning to shoot "as many students as possible" and staff in a plot that was thwarted after school administrators called police, officials said Monday.
The teenagers, who were not immediately identified, did not have weapons but were trying to get them, Sgt. Brian Solinsky, of the South Pasadena Police Department, told the Associated Press.
"This is a prime example of school officials recognizing suspicious behavior," Solinsky said in a statement. "It was this information that helped prevent a horrific tragedy."
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A press conference announcing details about the case is scheduled for Tuesday.
Detectives served warrants at the students' homes, found enough evidence and made the arrests, officials said.
One of the students was arrested without incident.
The second student resisted arrest and officers had to force entry into his home. He was captured in the home as he tried to run away from the officers.
NBC4 talked with the mother of one of the students, who said she was completely shocked and never saw this coming. A man claiming to be the father of one of the students told NBC4 his son had no intention of hurting anyone at the school an that they are "just very worried about their boy."
The boys were both about to begin their senior year at South Pasadena High School in the community of about 25,000 people eight miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, according to the AP.
School officials called police regarding the threats and police started surveilling the school, said South Pasadena police Sgt. Robert Bartl.
Superintendent Geoff Yantz said in a bulletin to parents and employees that the police "have the situation under control." He said that the first day of the 2014-2015 school year will start as planned on Thursday.
"There is currently no threat to students or employees," he said.
Psychologists and counselors will be available, he said.
Students who spoke with NBC4 expressed their concerns.
"Everyone doesn't want to go to school. They're scared," one student said.
"You never suspect anything like this so to think to hear this is why everyone is so panicky and shocked," another student said.
Student Jordan Jackmon told NBC4 that one of the students arrested was "very awkward" and "very low key about himself," adding that he rarely saw him talk.
"Parents are expressing a lot of sadness with this news, a lot of fear. Wondering about whether there’ll be increased police presence in the schools, and in general a lot of concern," South Pasadena Mayor Marina Khubesrian said. "Thank God that this was averted."
The arrests in South Pasadena came a day after a teenager was arrested in connection with a shooting threat in the Santa Clarita Valley that turned out to be a prank.