Two days after nine people were killed and several more wounded in a community college shooting in Oregon, four students from Summerville Union High School in California’s Tuolumne County have been arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit an assault with deadly weapons. The plot was allegedly to stage a mass shooting during an upcoming school-sanctioned event.

The investigation, which began the day before the early October shooting in Oregon, was sparked when three juveniles were seen engaging in what was described as suspicious behavior by fellow students. Upon alerting school authorities, the matter was turned over to police, who opened a formal investigation.

Detectives found that there was a fourth participant during the course of investigating the plot. Law enforcement indicates that the parents of the accused have been cooperating with authorities.

To kill as many as possible

Tuolumne County Sheriff Jim Mele said in a press conference that while certain teachers, administrators and students were specifically being targeted in the plot that the students confessed and, “They were going to come on campus and shoot and kill as many people as possible on the campus.”

The evidence of the plot consisted of a detailed list of victims, methods and locations in which to carry out the shooting, as well as a plan to secure the necessary weapons. Mele has assured the community that they currently are not in any danger.

Robert Griffith, the District Superintendent for the high school stated, “As each one of them was identified they were removed from campus,” and further indicated that parents have been contacted and apprised of the situation.

To be arraigned as juveniles

The names of the four male students involved in the shooting plot have not been released, due to their ages.

All four teens, once arrested, have been turned over to the Tuolumne County Probation Department, and will be arraigned as juveniles once Assistant District Attorney Eric Hovatter reviews all evidence and decides on the charges to be filed. Hovatter did urge communities and law enforcement to continue to be vigilant as in this case, which helped avert a potential tragedy.

On the students in question, Hovatter commented,"That the suspects are young does not minimize the gravity of the conduct nor the potential for great harm to many people.”

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