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Ryan Coventon

Pawnee County Teens Arrested for Alleged Mass Shooting Plot

Ryan Coventon - Friday, August 10, 2018

After receiving an Oklahoma City CrimeStoppers tip about an alleged school shooting plot, Pawnee County authorities arrested two Pawnee County High School sophomores on suspicion of plotting a mass shooting and suicide. Reports say the tip came from someone outside of the United States who became concerned about things the two juvenile suspects were discussing while playing online video games.

CrimeStoppers forwarded the tip to Pawnee Police Chief Wesley Clymer, who deemed the tip credible and contacted the FBI. Sources say that the investigation revealed a "thought-out plan" for how to carry out the school shooting, and that investigators found multiple firearms in the boys' possession when searching their homes.

Investigators arrested the teens just two weeks before school was to start in Pawnee County, and the Sheriff's Department says that the tip coming in early helped facilitate the investigation. Pawnee Schools superintendent Ned Williams said of the timing of the investigation, "This would have been much more confusing and dangerous had it come to light or occurred when school was in session. I am thankful this was able to be stopped as early as it was, almost immediately after it came in as a tip."

Coincidentally, as the tip came in, local law enforcement was conducting active shooter drills at a nearby school. The school shooting drill quickly turned into a real-life threat investigation. In fact, because local journalists were participating in the drill and reporting on it, The Cleveland American, a local newspaper, chose to run a disclaimer at the beginning of its story about the arrest of the teens, emphasizing that the story was real and not a part of the active shooter simulation:

NOTE: This is real. We felt it needed a note saying so since there was a mock school shooting drill in the county this morning, which our reporter participated in while on assignment. This is NOT part of that dramatization. This investigation is real, current and ongoing in Pawnee.

Pawnee school officials notified parents about the threat even though school was not yet in session. Law enforcement says the investigation is "all but over," and that there is no longer a threat to the school and its students. The teen suspects are under arrest and held in an undisclosed location.


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