Two 15-year-old boys have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder after officials said the duo made a ‘serious threat’ against fellow students and teachers at Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, California.
The teens, identified by Riverside County District Attorney’s office spokesman John Hall as Reed Peery and Samuel Noble, were booked into Southwest Juvenile Hall on Wednesday.
The names of the two would-be sophomores were made public under a California law that allows officials to release the identities of minors suspected of serious crimes, the Press-Enterprise reported.
The alleged plot began unraveling in early August when the FBI and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department were made aware of a possible threat against a Murrieta school.
‘It was a very serious threat,’ said Karen Parris, a spokeswoman for the Murrieta Valley Unified School District, who declined to further elaborate on the exact nature of the alleged murder conspiracy.
Parris added that the teens mentioned a specific date when they had allegedly planned to carry out the attack, although it was not 'in the near future.'
The suspected conspiracy was uncovered during the summer break when there was no one at Vista Murrieta High School. Classes resume on August 21.
One of the underage suspects had apparently told someone on the East Coast about the planned attack on his school in an online conversation, according to Parris.
That person alerted FBI officials, who launched an investigation into the online exchange. On August 8, they tipped off the Murrieta Police Department about a suspected plot targeting the 3,350-student Vista Murrieta High School.
The two would-be sophomores are facing disciplinary action that could potentially range from suspension to expulsion, although Parris has declined to elaborate.
Vista Murrieta Principal Darren Daniel alerted parents at the school about the uncovered plot via an automated phone message on Friday, Parris said.
The school is planning to hold a safety assembly next week to address the incident.
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