San Ramon, CA – A killing spree at a high school that was planned for the 22nd anniversary of that the Columbine massacre was thwarted after a student told a school resource officer what his friend was planning.
San Ramon police confirmed the arrest of a freshman from California High School and said he had been planning to attack his high school on April 20, 2021, using the same kinds of weapons as the Columbine killers, FOX News reported.
He called it “Columbine 2.0,” the East Bay Times reported.
The would-be shooter also planned to build bombs and tried to recruit a friend to help him with his dastardly plan. His plans were foiled when the student he tried to recruit instead went to a school resource officer and reported the threat.
The student told police that the future school shooter had asked to meet with him privately, and told him to turn off all his electronic devices before their meeting so he wouldn’t be tracked, the East Bay Times reported.
At the meeting, he told the student he wanted to plan a shooting that would be deadlier than Columbine. He also identified six students who were on his kill list, police said.
The East Bay Times reported that the student told authorities that he was afraid the shooter would target him if he did not go along with the plan.
Police arrested the future school shooter on April 19, and he admitted to them that he hated three of the classmates on his list, according to the East Bay Times.
Court records showed that authorities had seized a tactical vest, camouflage helmet, a toy shotgun, handwritten notes, and digital data from the student’s residence after he was taken into custody.
San Ramon police announced that there would be extra security at the upcoming California High School graduation ceremony on June 1, KTVU reported.
The school’s principal, Sarah Cranford, released a statement giving credit to the student who reported the threat to the police.
“The district considers this offense to be extremely serious and will take appropriate disciplinary consequences as per California Education Code. I want to commend our student for doing the right thing and reporting the information to an adult… The safety of our students, staff and parent community is our highest priority, and we take all threats seriously,” Cranford wrote.
Police said they believed that the would-be California High School shooter had been studying school shootings and participated in an online discussion forum for supporters of the Columbine massacre, the East Bay Times reported.
Investigators have said the two teenagers who committed the rampage at Columbine High School had planned the attack for years, and had planned to kill dozens of students with propane bombs before they began shooting, according to the East Bay Times.
However, when the bombs failed to detonate, and police said the boys began firing at their classmates and then, eventually, killed themselves.
While anti-gun activists have blamed the increase in school shootings on the weapons themselves, psychologists frequently cite “The Columbine Effect.”
The Washington Times reported that the 1999 Columbine massacre “gave rise to a fascination with the two teenage killers and mass shootings in general, spawning a social media subculture and inspiring dozens of disturbed young men to seek fame and vengeance by emulating their deadly heroes.”
Psychologist Peter Langman’s SchoolShooters.info website lists 33 U.S. mass shooters who have credited Columbine as an influence.
Langman said the narrative of the Columbine shooters having been bullied and ostracized has struck a cord and helped to build their following, The Washington Times reported.
“Columbine is perceived by many as an uprising of the oppressed,” he explained. “But that’s not how [Harris] was looking at the attack. He wrote about wanting to get rid of all the stupid, inferior people, but because of how it was portrayed in the media, about two bullied kids, that perception is still very much alive.”