16-year-old arrested; planned shooting with explosives at Berkeley High, police say | #schoolshooting

A 16-year-old boy was arrested after recruiting others to participate in a mass school shooting that could have included a bombing at Berkeley High School, police say. 

The unnamed juvenile suspect was arrested Monday, May 30 when he turned himself in to police, Berkeley Police Department said in a press release. 

The boy was arrested on suspicion of possessing destructive device materials and threatening to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury.

Police said they received a tip on Saturday that the boy was recruiting others in plans of a shooting that included explosives. Following the tip, police obtained and executed a search warrant for a residence. 

Police did not say if the teen was a student at Berkeley High School. In addition, they did not indicate the location of the teen’s residence. Upon executing the search warrant, police said they discovered parts to explosives and assault rifles, several knives, and electronic items that could be used to create additional weapons. 

At that point, a warrant was obtained for the teen’s arrest. 

Berkeley P.D. reiterated their commitment to school safety in their statement. 

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“School safety remains a high priority for the Department. As part of that commitment, the Department has a School Resource Officer assigned to Berkeley High School who regularly liaises with school and safety personnel,” the department said. “In addition to the School Resource Officer, all officers have access to a range of training and equipment that provide them the protection, skills and ability to rapidly respond to in-progress violence.”

Details on whom the teen was trying to recruit were not disclosed. Police said this case remains under investigation. They ask anyone with information on this case to contact their Youth Services Unit. 

Subsequently, the superintendent of Berkeley Unified School District issued a news release. Brent Stephens told the school’s community that the district was in close contact with police during this investigation. After police confiscated the teen’s weapon parts, the district relied on police expertise to assess any potential ongoing risk to its schools. The district communicated with police on the student’s whereabouts. 

“As added precautions during this period, we alerted our administrative and security staff about this investigation and, as is our standard practice, maintained close contact with our BPD School Resource Officer on the Berkeley High School campus,” Stephens wrote. “Throughout the investigation period, we were assured that this individual did not pose an immediate threat to the Berkeley High School community.”

The district is conducting their own investigation on this matter. The district may pursue disciplinary action against the student. In addition, a town hall meeting titled: ‘How to Talk to Children About School Violence’ offered by Alameda County Office of Education is scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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