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Two 17-Year-Old California Students Arrested for High School Murder Plot

Aired April 18, 2000 - 2:36 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Two 17-year-old California students, arrested Friday in what authorities say was a plot to invade a high school, will not be tried as adults. Investigators say the teenagers had planned to kill students and school employees with medieval weapons.

Here is CNN's Don Knapp.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DON KNAPP, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators say, at least tow teens, and possibly others, plotter an attack on Summerville High School, here in the foothills of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. The alleged plan, which may have been in the works for more than a year, came to light in early March after a student reported a conversation she had heard.

LT. JOHN STELLY, TUOLOUMNE CO. SHERIFF'S OFFICE: The nature of the threat was that they were reported to be going on the campus with knives and swords, and they were going to attempt to harm or kill as many of the students and teachers as they could.

KNAPP: Lt. John Stelly says, the suspects, one a Summerville High student, the other a former student, are in custody after investigators obtained search warrants and turned up at least 40 pieces of evidence.

STELLY: The threat was there, the potential was there, and after the search warrant, the weapons were there.

KNAPP: The weapons were swords, knives and axes, some guns were found, but investigators are not sure if guns were part of the alleged plan.

DENNIS WONG, SUMMERVILLE HIGH SCHOOL: There is a plan, which I cannot get into, at the sheriff's department, and that's how the staff were to be victims as part of the plan, and so they could get to the students.

KNAPP: Monday, the school was closed because of spring break. Teachers, students and parents did not learn about the five-week-long investigation until Friday's arrest.

Victoria McKee she was worried about her son's safety when she heard of the arrest, but was skeptical of the plot.

VICTORIA MCKEE, PARENT: I think it's a little farfetched. I mean, how far could a kid go with a hatchet, and a knife, a sword.

KNAPP: Shian Van Rappard said Friday was a terrible day.

SHIAN VAN RAPPARD, SUMMERVILLE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: We were sitting there all day just wondering if they were going to kill us or not. So it was really scary.

BRANDON MERCADE, SUMMERVILLE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: Didn't want to go on Friday. I went to school for a couple of periods, and then I called my mom, and she checked me out. But I'll go back. I don't think anything's going to happen now.

KNAPP: The district attorney says, from what he knows so far, the teens will not be tried as adults, but the investigation continues.

Don Knapp, CNN, Sonora, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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