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Four students arrested for planning school massacre; ‘dog-gone close’ to killing as many as possible

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Photo credit Modesto Bee

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Having been reminded last week in Oregon of the carnage one deranged gunman can bring, the thought of four shooters unleashing a reign of terror on an unsuspecting school is unfathomable.

But that’s precisely what four California high school students were planning — until authorities stepped in.

With America grappling to deal with the horror of the shooting at Umpqua Community College, four teenagers were arrested Saturday in Tuolumne, California, after detectives discovered an alleged plot to shoot students and teachers at their high school, according to WWL-TV.

“They were going to come on campus and shoot and kill as many people as possible at the campus,” said Tuolumne County Sheriff Jim Mele.

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Mele said students at Summerville High School notified school staff of suspicious activities from the four teens, and that investigators were able to verify a plot that was “very detailed in nature and included the names of victims, locations and methods in which the plan was to be carried out.”

Investigators say the suspects were in the early stages of the planned attack and were trying to obtain the weapons they were going to use.

An attack that is unthinkable, according to Kristin Wilson, whose daughter attends Summerville High.

“I can’t imagine getting a phone call that something like that had happened at that school,” Kristin told WWL-TV.

But the horrific incident was close to becoming a reality, Mele told The Modesto Bee.

“(They were) pretty dog-gone close,” he told the newspaper. “(Close) enough to keep me up last night, to keep my detectives and lieutenants up last night. There was an event that would be coming up that they specifically talked about.”

The four students confessed and have been charged with conspiracy to commit an assault with deadly weapons.

Tom Tillison

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