Two California youths accused of plotting high school shooting spree

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Police in the Los Angeles suburb of South Pasadena said on Monday that they had thwarted a mass shooting plot with the arrest of two teenagers who were conspiring to kill several staffers and as many fellow students as possible at their high school.

Detectives were tipped off to the plot by South Pasadena High School administrators and arrested the two students after serving search warrants at each of their homes, the South Pasadena Police Department said in a statement posted online.

"Enough evidence was discovered, and based on that evidence the two students were arrested," the statement said, though it did not identify the pair or make clear when they were taken into custody.

One of the youths was detained without incident, while the second student "resisted arrest and officers had to force entry into his residence," police said. "He was captured in the home as he tried to run away from the arresting officers," police said.

No further details of the alleged plan to attack the school were given, except that police said the two youths were "plotting to kill three staff members and as many students as possible with firearms."

"This is a prime example of school officials recognising suspicious behaviour," police Sergeant Brian Solinsky said in the statement. "It was this information that helped prevent a horrific tragedy."

Police were expected to reveal more details of the arrests and their investigation at a news conference set for Tuesday in South Pasadena, an affluent suburban town of some 24,000 residents about eight miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Just over 1,500 students are currently enrolled at the high school, according to its website.

News of the two arrests in Southern California came three weeks after a judge in Minnesota dismissed attempted murder and property damage charges brought against a teenager there who was accused of planning a shooting and bomb attack on his high school. Prosecutors said they planned to appeal that ruling.

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