Colo. cops foil potential school shooting, 2 in custody
Police said a 15-year-old male student was making threats Thursday morning to "shoot up the school" and idolized the Columbine shooters and the Aurora theater shooter
By Anthony A. Mestas
The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo.
TRINIDAD, Colo. — Two Trinidad High School students were arrested Friday for allegedly planning a school shooting next month.
Police said a 15-year-old male student was making threats Thursday morning to "shoot up the school" and idolized the Columbine shooters and the Aurora theater shooter.
Police have learned that a 16-year-old student also was part of a plan to shoot students and teachers at the school after winter break.
Police said the 15-yearold had been bullied.
The students face charges of interference with school-credible threat, a misdemeanor, and inciting destruction of life or property, a felony.
The names of the students were not released. Their homes were searched by police Thursday. Police Chief Charles Glorioso said no weapons were found at the homes nor were any written plans of the possible shooting.
They have been released from jail back to their parents.
Trinidad School Resource Officer Nick Mattorano heard about the threat when he reported for duty at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at Trinidad High School.
The high school, Trinidad Middle School and Fisher's Peak School were on lockdown until about 1 p.m. Thursday.
Glorioso said that upon interviewing students, it was alleged that the two suspects had a plan in place to carry out the shooting after the holiday break, which began Friday.
Glorioso said Mattorano's thorough investigation uncovered the threats and put a halt to any plan made by these students.
"I think it was extremely important that officer Mattorano took the threat as a credible threat and did what he needed to do to talk to the necessary witnesses involved," Glorioso said.
"Based on the students he spoke to, I believe that this was a credible threat. I think that they were indeed planning to carry it out and had not officer Mattorano been persistent in following up and continually talking to people to try and get to the bottom of the story, it could have went unresolved. I think he really did divert a tragedy."
Glorioso said even with all the news of past school shootings, even as recent as the Arapahoe High School shooting last week, students are still hesitant to talk.
"Mattorano's persistence and willingness to go back and compare information with one student to another allowed him to get the full story," Glorioso said.
Copyright 2013 The Pueblo Chieftain