On this day in 2015, plan for terror uncovered at Edmond high school

James Coburn | The Edmond SunEdmond Public Schools Spokeswoman Susan Parks-Schlepp.

A tip to Edmond Police Friday morning, March 13, 2015, prompted them to investigate a threat of mass murder made by a 16-year-old male Edmond North High School student toward friends and classmates, said Jenny Monroe, police spokeswoman.

Police are looking at potential charges of possession of explosives and the manufacturing of explosives, she explained. He was in the building and testing phase of carrying out his plan, Monroe said.

“We had somebody come into the police department lobby call today telling us there was a student who was receiving in-patient treatment at a facility,” Monroe said.

The student has been in treatment since Friday of last week, where he told his therapist that he has acted alone in his plans for mass killing, Monroe said. He revealed to his therapist that he had plans to commit mass murder at Edmond North, Monroe said.

This student used the words, “shooting and explosives” when speaking to his mental health professional, Monroe said. He has not been arrested, as he continues to be treated for his mental health.

“Friday morning (March 6), a couple of students came forward with text messages that they had shared with the student that were very, very concerning. The language was very inflammatory,” Edmond Public Schools Spokeswoman Susan Parks-Schlepp said. “They correctly brought that information to an assistant principal, who immediately turned it over to the principal.”

The principal removed the student from class. His parents were called, and he was transported by police off campus, Schlepp said.

“In their original coming forward to the school, they felt he was suicidal,” Monroe said.

The great lesson to be taken from the event is that other students knew something was peculiar with their classmate and reported it to the North High School administration, Monroe said.

His parents cooperated and had a mental evaluation performed on their son. As a result, two representatives from the treatment center contacted Edmond Police.

Edmond Police contacted Edmond North School to alert them to the threat. Bomb dogs were dispatched Friday morning by Edmond Police to check the classrooms the student would frequent and surrounding areas, Monroe said. No bombing devices were found.

“Do we feel like this was a credible plan to carry out? Absolutely,” Monroe said.

The school was not evacuated. Police did not consider the threat to be an immediate danger to the students because they knew the student’s location.

“We went to his house here in Edmond with a bomb dog and actually found evidence of his plan and the explosives,” Monroe said.

Components of explosives were found at the student’s home, along with blueprints and paperwork detailing the student’s plans, she said. Early stages of investigation include forensic work in his home.

Early stages of investigation reveal that the teenager had quoted other mass casualty events. He made reference to other school shootings.

“They weren’t generic statements,” Monroe said. “They were very pointed and detailed.”

Edmond Public Schools is eager for parents to know that the care and safety of their children is of utmost importance, Schlepp said. A letter was given to each student to share with their parents regarding the incident.

“We took every step and every precaution today to assure that the campus was safe, that the students are safe and that staff members are safe,” Schlepp said.