In a country where school shootings have, sadly, become a common social issue, it's a huge sigh of relief when a case can be prevented. In the past week, not one, but two school shootings were thwarted when police arrested two teens only an hour and a half away from each other. On Saturday, Baltimore police arrested a 16-year-old boy who confessed to school shooting plans, while on Monday, Philadelphia police arrested a 17-year-old girl, who said she wanted to become the first female mass murderer. Both arrests foiled plots that could have been some of the worst school shooting cases this country has ever seen.
In the case of the teenage boy, who was identified as Sash Alexander Nemphos, police uncovered his plot when they were investigating a series of car burglaries in a suburb of Baltimore around 4 p.m. on Saturday. After witnesses described a young man who they'd seen lurking around the scene of the thefts, the officers identified Nemphos as a suspect and paid him a visit at his home in the Monkton neighborhood. What they discovered there was exponentially worse than a car burglary.
Baltimore County Police said they found a handgun and three devices that were believed to be homemade devices, which Nemphos allegedly confessed he was planning to use on students at George Washington Carver Center For the Arts and Technology, where he is a sophomore. According to the police, the explosives were "crude devices that were made with ordinary household materials." Just where the teen learned to construct such devices is unclear.
On Monday, Baltimore police initially charged Nemphos as a juvenile, but the court waived the teen to adult status with the following charges: handgun possession, destructive device, dangerous weapon on school property, as well as theft less than $100, theft less than $1,000, and theft of $1,000 to under $10,000 for the car burglaries.
This Baltimore case is just a little too close for comfort, because according to the officers, Nemphos had originally planned to carry out the attacks at his school on Friday, but had decided to put it off until Monday.
Just 100 miles away, police foiled another potentially tragic shooting on Monday. In the Philadelphia suburb of Radnor Township, police arrested a 17-year-old girl who had allegedly planned a school attack modeled off the 1999 Columbine shooting. According to investigators, the girl had detailed her plans in her notebook, in which she mentioned her admiration for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine shooters. The girl also allegedly wrote that she wanted to become the first female mass murderer and made some bone-chilling descriptions of her attack.
I could be the first female school shooter. I'd want to trap them pick them off one by one.... Imagine the power. The bullets leaving the gun with a loud bang, piercing kids around me, the way they collapse, their blood splattering the floor... the screams.
The notion that a young girl was daydreaming about a violent scene like this is terrifying, and painfully sad. Investigators say that the girl reportedly has a history of mental illness and is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation. Fortunately, school administrators discovered the notebook around 11:30 a.m. Monday morning and reported it to the police, who are charging the girl as a juvenile for making terroristic threats.
Images: Getty Images