An Oklahoma high school student is in custody on charges he plotted to bomb and shoot students at the Bartlesville High School auditorium on the same day 26 people were shot and killed at an elementary school in Connecticut.
Police arrested 18-year-old Sammie Eaglebear Chavez at about 4:30 a.m. Friday after learning of the alleged plot Thursday. Chavez was found at a residence in Bartlesville early Friday morning, and had not attended school on Thursday, CBS affiliate KWTV in Oklahoma City reported.
"We are extremely pleased that our students were never in harm's way," Superintendent Gary W. Quinn said to KWTV. "I am proud of our administrative personnel who took what started out as an unsubstantiated rumor, and through their diligent work and exhaustive investigation were able to determine there could be a future threat. We appreciate the excellent relationship we have with our local law enforcement and their swift response to the information we provided them. We will always put the safety of the students of the Bartlesville Public School District first and foremost."
An arrest affidavit obtained by KWTV says Chavez tried to convince other students on Wednesday while in the school cafeteria to help him lure students into the auditorium, chain the doors shut and start shooting. The Tulsa World reports that authorities say Chavez threatened to kill students who didn't help.
Chavez planned to detonate bombs at the doors as police arrived, the affidavit said. He also tried to get a map of the school and told a teacher he had recently bought a Colt .45 handgun and had been practicing shooting it over the weekend. In addition, another student said he saw Chavez looking up how to build pipe bombs.
The school district says students were never in danger. A parent told KWTV that they received an email from the school district on Friday about an "incident" on Thursday, but no additional information was given.
Chavez is being held on $1 million bond and has been charged with a felony threatening to kill. If he makes bond, he will not be able to have contact with any Bartlesville schools or possess firearms.