Police avert NHS student’s alleged violent plot

A deadly plan of Columbine-style violence at Newington High School, averted thanks to YouTube:

Investigators said they uncovered a high school student’s alleged plan to attack classmates.

According to Newington police, a parent contacted Canton police to report the discovery of videos found on the Internet video Web site YouTube.com. Police said the videos depict teens firing several weapons and igniting explosive devices.

The parent told police that one of the students was planning an attack at Newington High School, which has a school resource officer, some time over the next few months.

Newington police said they identified the teens involved in the video on Tuesday and that they have since interviewed the teenagers. Police said one of the teens — a 16-year-old — planned to attack classmates at Newington High School while class was in session.

Police said the 16-year-old’s plan involved guns and explosives, which prompted authorities to search his home. Newington police, along with state police officials, searched the teen’s home and they said they confiscated several weapons, detailed notes and a list of more than 20 students. …

Newington police said they met on Tuesday morning with several parents of students who were identified as potential targets in the alleged plot. The students were identified as potential targets in statements made by the 16-year-old, which was also indicated in documents police seized from the teen’s home.

There seems to be some conflicting information about how the plot was uncovered. The above-linked WFSB article claims it was Canton parents who came forward. This WVIT article says it was a Canton teen (and that the plot involved attacks in both Newington and Canton). And this WTNH article says it was a Newington teen, who alerted his parents, who in turn called the police.

Regardless, thank God it was caught in time.

The Hartford Courant has more:

The suspect, a junior, has not been arrested and was committed to an area hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Police described him as someone who was not known to school officials or police as a troublemaker.

Still, said Lt. William Darby, “we believe this was a legitimate threat.”

UPDATE: The Courant has more details this morning:

Police are investigating a Newington High School student’s alleged plot to harm numerous classmates in a Columbine-style attack at the school. Authorities say the plan was foiled after a Canton teenager’s parents were alerted by their child to an Internet video showing teens firing guns and setting off explosives.

Town and state police searched the home of the suspect, a 16-year-old, Tuesday evening and found explosive devices and weapons, including several rifles, authorities said Wednesday. They also uncovered documents that indicated a plan to attack Newington High sometime during the school year, and a hit list of potential victims with at least 20 names, police said. …

Investigators were tipped off Monday by parents in Canton whose child saw the student and other teens on a YouTube video that showed the youths firing weapons and igniting explosive devices. The Canton teenager, who had received the video in an Internet message from a second Canton teenager, recognized those in the video as acquaintances and was concerned, authorities said. The teen’s parents were then alerted.

The parents called the Canton Police Department about 11:20 p.m. Monday. Canton police then contacted Newington police and began investigating the Canton teenager who had sent the video.

Canton Deputy Police Chief Don Hull said investigators initially were concerned that both Canton and Newington high schools were potential targets, but later determined there was no “immediate threat planned” in Canton. Police searched the home and school locker of the Canton teenager who sent the video and found no weapons, explosives or plans for a potential attack, Hull said. …

Newington High School Principal Bill Collins said “a possible catastrophe” had been thwarted, and that unspecified disciplinary action had been taken against the 16-year-old. Collins also said he personally did not know the teen or recognize his name when investigators told him of the plot Tuesday. About 1,500 students attend Newington High.

One Newington High student, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear for his safety, said Wednesday that he and a friend had previously joked that the suspect, who wore dark clothing and overcoats, would “probably snap one day.”

As an aside, I’m sure some people reading this article know the name of the accused student. I’m going to ask that you not post it in comments; if it’s posted, I’ll delete it. I’m going to follow the lead of the local media on this one, unless I see some compelling reason to do otherwise.

Anyway… the Courant also has a separate article about the YouTube angle of this story.

12 Responses to “Police avert NHS student’s alleged violent plot”

  1. Joe Loy says:

    God Almighty.

    And yes, thank Him under all His Names that this got busted in time.

    (As often happens, BLL, I learned of this Local story on your website. / If Newington gets, like, invaded by China I’ll probably find out on The Irish Trojan ;>. Well ~ of course Lou Dobbs might Scoop you on that one. :)

  2. Andrew says:

    Wow. I can’t even imagine a copycat Columbine occurring at my alma mater. Crazy.

  3. David K. says:

    Thank God (and i mean that) they stopped this potentital tragedy

  4. Sean says:

    Wow. A lot of people went out of their way to make my life miserable at NHS, but I never would have gone that far.

  5. Pat Louise says:

    This incident was a long time coming. Newington High has a notorious reputation for prevalent bullying among it’s students. I can personally vouch for this. I’m surprised something like this didn’t occur years ago.

  6. Andrew says:

    Good point, Pat. I can’t believe Brendan hasn’t already shot dead a few people, especially considering “prevalent bullying” isn’t all that common outside Newington, CT.

    /sarcasm

  7. Joe Loy says:

    The suspect, having been arraigned, is now Named in a 3:02 pm update of the linked Feb 15 Courant story.

    When making the assumption that the alleged plot’s motive was Revenge for being Bullied, let’s remember that it is just that, an assumption ~ albeit a Plausible & Precedented one. We don’t Know yet.

    Alas, no school anywhere is Immune to the possibility of lethal violence. Columbine, itself, demonstrated that. The slaughter at that little Amish one-room schoolhouse confirmed it. / Now Salt Lake City ~ of all the presumptively Law-&-Orderly places! ~ has shown that neither is any Shopping Mall.

    Sigh :(

  8. Pat Louise says:

    Andrew, I take it your not a Newington High alum. Speaking from my own experiences, Newington’s high school faculty was woefully inept to deal with the rampant bullying which I received from not only from my fellow peers but certain teachers as well. It’s a sore subject with me.

  9. Dave says:

    I go there now, and this was a Racist motivated act. The “list” was Blacks, Jews, Gays and anyone he just didn’t like.

  10. Andrew says:

    Pat Louise, I didn’t go to Newington HS — I’m a California boy, not a New Englander. However, if you think you were bullied in high school, you should see the crap I put up with on this blog for being an outspoken conservative Republican!

  11. Sean says:

    Wow, Andrew. You were stabbed with a pencil for being a Republican? How many times have we thrown you to the ground and punched you in the sternum again? It must’ve really sucked when we vandalized your bike over your politics.

  12. David K. says:

    Stupid as Andrews last post was, his point overall does make sense. This sort of problem isn’t something unique to Newington, its widespread. Of course that doesn’t change anything either, as far as the people of Newington are concerened at least, they need to figure out a way to improve things, just as school across the country do.