This Sept. 2021 photo shows Dunmore High School in Dunmore, Pa. Four teenagers have been charged with a plot to attack a Pennsylvania high school in 2024, on the 25th anniversary of the massacre at Colorado's Columbine High School, authorities said, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. A 15-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy are charged as adults and two other teenagers face juvenile charges in the plan to attack Dunmore High School, outside Scranton, on April 20, 2024, authorities said. (Jake Danna Stevens/The Times-Tribune via AP)
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Dunmore High School in Dunmore, Pa. (Jake Danna Stevens/The Times-Tribune via AP)

From the AP . . .

Four teenagers have been charged with a plot to attack a Pennsylvania high school in 2024, on the 25th anniversary of the massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School, authorities said.

A 15-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy are charged as adults and two other teenagers face juvenile charges in the plan to attack Dunmore High School, outside Scranton, on April 20, 2024, authorities said. Investigators said the girl’s mother told police that her daughter was “obsessed with Columbine,” The Times-Tribune reported Friday.

“While the investigation is ongoing, I want to assure the parents, students and staff at Dunmore High School that we do not believe there is any active threat at this time,” District Attorney Mark Powell said in a statement. “We are relieved that this plot was uncovered before anyone was hurt and urge anyone who has information about potential threats of school violence to contact police immediately.”

A Molotov cocktail, components for bombs, writings on how to make bombs, and handwritten lists of guns, ammunition and tactical gear complete with prices were found at the girl’s home, investigators said in a criminal complaint.

The Times-Tribune reported that the girl’s mother and defense attorney Corey Eagen declined to comment, while the other teen charged as an adult had no lawyer during Friday’s arraignment. Powell declined to comment on the juvenile charges.

The mother of one of the teens charged as a juvenile discovered text messages on her child’s cellphone July 6 in which a group discussed plans to “shoot up the school,” investigators said in the complaint. The teen told investigators that he thought it was bluster until he saw 20 to 30 Molotov cocktails under the girl’s porch.

Dunmore schools Superintendent John Marichak told the newspaper he was appalled but relieved by the arrests. A statement on the district’s website said authorities had assured officials that there was “no current danger to students or staff.”

Principal Timothy Hopkins, who was one of the officials targeted, said he knows the two teens charged as adults and described them as quiet children who weren’t troublemakers. He said he had no idea why they would seek to harm him, other than his position as principal.

“It’s a little bit disturbing to find out something like that was being plotted,” he told the Times-Tribune.

The two teens charged as adults were taken to the Northampton County Juvenile Justice Center following their Sept. 16 arraignment on weapons of mass destruction, terroristic threat, aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and possession of explosive material charges. The girl is also charged with risking catastrophe because of the threat the explosive devices posed to family members and neighbors, police said.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled Oct. 4.

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78 COMMENTS

  1. “4 Teens Allegedly Plotted a Columbine Anniversary School Shooting at a Pennsylvania High School”

    Another endorsement for home schooling all students, all the time. Eliminate the killing fields of brick and mortar schools.

    • You mean the indoctrination centers based entirely on the old Russian military school system and designed by an avowed communist? Yes, eliminate them entirely and stop stealing the money from us to support them.

      • “Give me the children and I will transform the country.” – Lenin

        Give them free pre-school, K-12 (feed them free breakfast and lunch…and starting now, supper), 2 years of college…to start, eventually 4 years.

        Politicians have/are accomplishing what armies failed/feaed to attempt……the take over of America and the transformation into a Socialist/Communist shithole….without a shot fired in defense…to date.

        “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
        An excerpt from “A Pillar of Iron” by Taylor Caldwell depicting the spirit of ancient Rome in its last days of glory. The hero of the story, the man called “a pillar of iron” is Marcus Tullius Cicero, the lawyer-statesman who tried vainly to save the republic he loved from the forces of tyranny.

  2. Don’t you love it when we arrest people for Thought crimes before they’ve actually done anything. In this case there wasn’t even an overt Act.

    • the FBI likely had undercover agents that talked them into it, and then the agents planted the evidence. Who the hell would keep Molotov cocktails under their front porch???

      • Do you have a gas can (with gas) and some old tee shirt or towel used as a rag in your garage?
        If you do, congrats. The alphabet boiz can claim you have Molotov cocktail materials.
        The charges/claims go around the world thousands of times before you and your attorney clear your name.
        Then, and only then, can you enjoy that microscope retraction/correction on the last page of the interwebz.

        • That caught my eye, too. I know it’s nitpicking, but when I see factual, spelling, and/or grammatical errors in a news article, it tells me the author (1) wrote it quickly (or copied it from another source?) and didn’t vet the facts or (2) isn’t intelligent enough to utilize proper English and/or proofreading. I typically discard the article at that point.

          Engrish. Because maff is hard and uzing good werds iz too much.

        • MAybe if they just chewed on some lead-based paint they’d forget all about it…

          Seriously, though, I think it’s even more hilarious that the place is “Dunmore HS”…

          YEP- them kids just Dunmore than the average ones…

      • Feds can’t just sit around until someone does something bad. Gotta arrest some We The Little Peeps for hypothetical thought crimes so Feds can apply stricter control on the good guys. No pop bottles for you!!!! No gas lawn mowers for you!!! Anyway, gotta ditch gas mowers to save the planet.

    • I was wondering that myself. How do you arrest a kid for something they planned on doing 2½ years in the future? Obviously they have mental(and probably parental) issues but 2½ years in kid years is forever.

      • So you just wait and hope they grow out of it? Are you willing to risk that these same teens whose whims change so much won’t just get impatient one day and decide to commit their attack early? As you’re likely right and these kids were not parented well, it falls on the justice system to teach them that there are severe consequences for violent actions and mandate they recieve the counseling they so clearly need. An arrest does not mean life in prison.

        • If you survey the recidivism rate, you’ll discover the justice system teaches nobody nothing. I contend they have no crime to prosecute, would probably be a good idea to offer the kids counseling and keep a close eye on them.

        • “If you survey the recidivism rate, you’ll discover the justice system teaches nobody nothing. ”

          I don’t know about that. There is a reason juvenile prisons are referred to as “Gladiator Academies”

      • “I was wondering that myself. How do you arrest a kid for something they planned on doing 2½ years in the future?”

        Conspiracy…

    • No overt act? The manufacture and storage of multiple incendiary or explosive devices is easily an overt act that meets the element of the offense for conspiracy. What planet do you live on? Sure a molotov cocktail would likely be inert after 3 years, but just because their plan sucked doesn’t mean they weren’t going to attempt to commit a violent felony.

      • I see your point, and I suspect that those reports are not true. You think a Molotov cocktail will function 3 years after it’s assembled? I suspect it would be inert in 3 months. There’s a lot of BS in this report. Where did a 15-year-old girl get the gasoline?

        • Grab gas can, walk, bicycle, or drive to nearest convenience store, fill gas can, pay for gas, return home. I figured all of that out way back around 1963 or so, well before I reached puberty.

      • CannotComply; you have obviously never dealt with anyone in federal law enforcement before and I have done so professionally. I doubt there was a Molotov cocktail, if anything there were some shop towels and a can of gasoline sitting right next to a lawn mower along with a quart of oil that the feds claim was a Molotov cocktail. That’s just how they roll.

        • Bingo Officer Bill.
          A true BS indicator on TTAG are the “new” names that suddenly pop up on high profile/agenda advancing/gub’ment agency involved stories. This story checks all those boxes.
          Several new names have popped up with this story today, all attempting to “steer” opinions.

        • I actually am law enforcement as well and have been for years. While I cant speak for every agency or member, I have personally never witnessed anything you just described. While I’m sure exaggerations and overzealous reports from inexperienced LEOs happen, they are quickly thrown out in court once facts are actually presented. You can certainly be skeptical to what the outcome will be once these teens are brought before a judge, but as the facts themselves are presented right now, a probable cause arrest would be reasonable upon the discovery of “20 to 30” molotov cocktails and multiple communications between the teens discussing using them to attack a school.

        • Also as a curiosity, can anyone tell me where the idea this was Federal came from? What I read was a local DA brought the kids up in local court. No reference to an AUSA or federal involvement. Not every crime is investigation is a fed boi in the bushes.

        • “While I’m sure exaggerations and overzealous reports from inexperienced LEOs happen, ((((((((AFTER MONTHS OF SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, EXTREME LEVELS OF STRESS, AND 10s OF Ks $s PAID FOR ATTORNEYS TO STRATEGIZE A PROPER DEFENSE HAVING BEEN ENDURED BY THE HAPLESS VICTIMS, IE; THE ENTIRE FAMILY, AND ALL RELATED TO THE FAMILY)))))))) they are quickly thrown out in court once facts are actually presented”

          FIFY.

          Funny how CC left that part out. The Judges and Juries just don’t “throw out” those BS charges. Those BS charges are their bread and butter. They keep the judges, procuscutors, and lawyers living VERY well.
          Even advancing the careers of those with political aspirations.

          You must be a horrible LEO if you’ve never seen it.
          I saw two NJ families (in the ’70s) charged with all sorts of BS charges, took years and their entire life savings to clear their names.

          I was PERSONALLY involved in a Florida case (in the ’00s) where not one, but TWO Pasco Co LEOs were FIRED from the force for lying while under oath, all in order to get their BS charges to stick.
          There were FOUR extensions granted them by the judge in the case. The defense attorney and I kept exposing their lies, they couldn’t refute the lies, they would request an extension, judge granted. 🤪
          We used the extensions to go over the LEOs previous sworn statements, witness testimony, body cam/patrol vehicle cam footage, and THEIR OWN courtroom testimony. Actually found even MORE lies between hearings that were not pointed out to the judge. Made sure to get the LEOs on the stand and have them contradict prior statements early on in each of the four subsequent hearings. IMMENSELY enjoyed watching the judge scream at the LEOs during the hearing on at least six occasions.😄

          Within one year, I happened upon one ex-LEO working the counter at an AutoZone in Hernando County, Florida. Saw the other ex-LEO cleaning carpets when I stopped by a friend’s home. 😄
          On both occasions, I made ABSOLUTELY SURE they remembered who I was.🤣

        • The article said there were 20 to 30 Molotovs under the front porch. A far cry from a “can of gasoline”.

        • Hey Joe, pics please.
          I’ll trust what they claim, but ONLY after they verify the claims made to the public.

      • Note that the stuff about the “20 or 30” (which is it?) Molotov cocktails is several steps removed. It’s a reporter hearing from an investigator who heard it from the mother who read it from another kid who said he saw it. That chain is too long to have any real legitimate value.

      • Duuuu-Hoyyyy!

        Never stated it wasn’t. Possession by someone of ANY age is illegal.

        Is it legal for a home to have the items required (gas can, bottles, a towel/tee shirt)?

        If there were assembled items, that’s illegal.
        If the items weren’t assembled, TOTALLY LEGAL.

        AGAIN, pics. This will resolve the debate.

    • Ala “Minority Report”….The Thought Police will come knocking……”1984” re-scheduled to 2024……coming to a front door in your neighborhood.

    • As a kid, we played Cowboys and Indians……Cops and Robbers……Americans and Russians ……with thoughts of shooting the other guys. Shoulda called The Thought Police on us.

  3. It would be interesting to know the percentages of public vs private school (k thru 12) enrolled student shooter incidents.
    Also the %s of students found with firearms between the two.
    I know of numerous families (in NJ, NY, Penn, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas) that have extensive firearm collections (handguns/rifles/ARs(MSRs😉)), have children that are taught to shoot (and go out shooting at least once a year), and send those children to private schools.

    • “….go out shooting at least once a year” Must be NY, NJ, CA, and IL. In TX, IA, OK, MO, KS….pro-America, pro-2A states…..it is “once a week”…when they can find ammo. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. I’d like to win the Powerball lottery in the next two and a half years…. guess I can expect a bill from the IRS for taxes due on the winnings any day now.

    • Tax law is designed to control actions. In your scenaio, they want to take away your “HOPE” of winning the lottery.

      In Missouri, they tax one’s house based upon a little bureaucrat’s hypothetical guess of one’s unrealized capital gains on their home value. Even the IRS doesn’t tax us on unrealized gains…..YET. Ole AOC is working on that.

    • Teens become obsessed with all sorts of things all the time. They spend 24 hours a day obsessed with something or other. Especially today with unfettered access to anything internet. All it takes is for one small idea that appeals to them in some way, it does not even need to have been violence orientated, and you can get them to believe in anything when that feeds their idealism or angst or longing for attention. It could have been a social media discussion, or how they wanted to push boundaries for the attention, or they may have identified in some way with someones teen angst – it could have been anything that set them on this path.

  5. Thought crime. Ruin kid’s lives for thought crimes 30 months in the future. Politbureau proud comrades…just wait the dims will make “hoarding” ammo a crime😳

    • Whatever is this “hording ammo” that you speak of?

      All those cases of ammo were shot. It actually wore out ALL my guns. 😉

      Have I mentioned that Yeti Tundra 65 coolers can hold well over 100kg of ammo. And a small bead of pool o-rings silicone makes them 100% watertight to 8 ft minimum. Been tested.

  6. How would anyone not notice and smell 20-30 Molatov cocktails under the porch? Sumthin ain’t right, here.

    Why arrests and not interventions?

    Dunno….need detail.

    • Simple.
      A case of empty glass bottles (there’s a 5c return payment on bottles in Pa IIRC), a 5 gal gas can, and some old shop rags may have been under the porch. Thru the eyes of some gung-ho agents, this is defined as 20 to 30 Molotov cocktails.

        • They’ll overcharge the bejezzus out of everything seen at the time of the arrest.
          Legal defense will expose the charges for what they are in court (BS), or the boiz will attempt to play “Monty Hall” and tell those arrested they will drop ALL sorts of charges (BS ones that they know will fall flat in court) for a deal/ confession.
          It’s part of their game.

      • Gas was for kid’s lawn mower used in cutting disabled old neighbor’s yard for her……
        At about 6-9yrs of age, buddies and I scavenged 5 mile radius on bikes with red wagons in tow picking up pop bottles for the 2 cents (I’m really, really old…) bounty. Amassed them under Rickie’s back porch. Brought in so many the local hardware store accused us of stealing them from their storage room. Several Dads had a “Come to Jesus attitude adjustment” meeting with the store owner…..whose middle son was part of our Pop Bottle Maffia!!!! Guess today he would have turned us into the Thought Bureau.

        As a kid, I always had a list of guns and ammo and gear with pics and prices….and the pop bottle take…..on the desk in my room. UH OH!!!!…..still do. Only now, I have the resources to buy them. Better call the Thought Bureau.

        I’m a confessed Gunaholic. But, I am on the road to recovery. Ooops, my bad. This is the road to the gun club to pick up another gun. Better call the Thought Bureau.

        Life is good. And, I have no adult supervision in my life. No….. Sleazy/senile/sniffy Ole Joey’s and KamelHo’s and Butto O’Dork’s perversions don’t apply.

    • Why arrests, and not interventions? Well, it seems to me that an arrest IS an intervention. Now it plays out in court – you know, where evidence is presented, and a judge and/or jury hears details before making some kind of decision.

  7. 2024 was launch day? Like seriously that would be a three summers from now commitment for 15 year old snot nosed twerps blowing smoke up each other’s butt. If they purchased trench coats they would outgrow them by then.

    If no tortured animals were found and no manson swastikas were carved in their foreheads, etc. it’s probably a show to motivate slacker parents to pay more attention to their not so long ago rug rats.

  8. Or…

    On April 20, 2024 right here on TTAG one might be reading comments about an attack at a PA high school demanding to know if the perpetrators where previously known to law enforcement, were there any signs that this was being planned, how did the parents not know, how did the school not know, surely their friends must have known- why didn’t anyone DO something, see what happens when no one pays attention, if they don’t say their race, that must mean…

    I wouldn’t even assume to venture a guess at this time- because I don’t have any verifiable facts upon which to base my opinion. If it’s a set-up, then that’s horrible and those responsible should be held accountable. If plans and preparation for an attack are physically confirmed and any illegal activity was thwarted, and if there is substantiation of psychiatric illness and/or criminality- then this intervention was wholly appropriate.

    I prefer to withhold judgement until I have more information.

    • “I prefer to withhold judgement until I have more information.”

      That’s the smartest thing that anyone has posted on this topic thus far. 👏

  9. At 15 I was more obsessed with trying to get girls to drop their panties, than dropping bombs, or shooting up a school in the future. Of course, I already had several rifles and shotguns, and was running expensive machinery on the farm. Along with driving Dad’s pick up into town and earning a man’s pay for a man’s work. Amazing what’s changed for the worse in the past half century.

  10. I get the jokes about the FBI planning people inside and entrapping the kids…but does anyone actually have access past the pay wall for the local paper to see if it even mentions federal participation? Would be interested to see the actual affidavit that was in the criminal complaint to see what the molotov cocktails looked like.

      • Funny how an FBI undercover informant inside the “Proud Boys” organization contacted his FBI handler while at the capital on 1-6. Informed his FBI handler that the Proud Boys had NO PLANS OR INTENTIONS of entering. They were ushered in as part of a large crowd by the Piglosi lead Capital Police. Many were even greeted by the CP.

        But, but whiner and lil’d claim that 1-6 was an armed insurrection to overthrow the US Government. 🤪

        • The point?
          Walking in freely after being greeted and WELCOMED by the CapPolice is not an “armed insurrection”. Makes the CapPo “in fear for their lives” statements look like pure BS. Pure theater.

          Any ideas who the two STILL unidentified subjects are in the Ashley B vid? Alphabet boi shit stirrers that Pelosi and her crooked crew are keeping hidden? 🤔

          And why not have the three CapPo officers that opened the hallway that AB got killed in appeared before Congress? 🤔 Along with the vid showing these THREE were NOT overwhelmed by the group.
          Looks like the vodka soaked gavel holder is leading a cover-up to anyone even casually paying attention.

          Enjoy the ’22/’24 elections. 👍

    • Jeffery Epstein was working on that. Well, locking up the cute ones at least.
      He and a few of his close “philanthropic” pals actually had an island where they would “interact” with these secluded and safe kids, all in the name of making sure they weren’t getting into any trouble. Jeff even cameras recording everything, to ensure everyone was good and safe. 🤪 One of Jeff’s buddies, Slick Willie, used to say “keeping kids safe is “hard” GDamn work, a guy can really break a sweat”.🤔 Not really sure what Willie meant by that. 🤔
      Such awesome role models this “special” kids had on Epstein Island, the Lolita Express, and Air Fvcks One.

  11. I thought that people wanted the police to be defunded and disbanded?
    Rather than making proactive, preemptive arrest, they should have emulated their colleagues at Newton Connecticut, Columbine and Stoneman High School by just allowing the shooting to go down then cowering in the parking lot while waiting for the shooting to stop.

    Think of it as evolution in action.

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