CNN) — A weekend investigation into car break-ins in a Baltimore suburb may have headed off a 10th-grader’s planned school attack, police said Monday.
Late Saturday afternoon, Baltimore County Police Department officers responded to a call from Cockeysville, about 20 miles north of Baltimore, where someone had broken into at least three vehicles.
“Officers identified a 16-year-old boy as the suspect responsible for the thefts from auto,” a news release states. “When the boy was located and interviewed at his home in the Monkton area, officers learned that he had plans to go to Baltimore County Public Schools’ George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology with two explosive devices and a gun, and that he wanted to kill people.”
The teen showed officers a handgun and “devices believed to be explosive,” prompting officers to call in the county’s hazardous devices team, police said.
The devices, which were made of “readily available components,” were rendered safe, and police also found tools and components that could be used to make more devices.
“The boy was sent for an emergency evaluation,” the police statement said. The suspect was originally charged as a juvenile, but that was subsequently changed to charged as an adult, police said.
Sash Alexander Nemphos was charged with handgun possession, three counts of theft, possession of a destructive device and possession of a dangerous weapon on school property, police said.
They reported the suspect told an officer he had taken the gun to school Friday, but decided not to do anything until Monday. He is being held without bail.
Police Chief Jim Johnson praised the first responding officer for “an exceptional job of police work” and said the officer intervened in what could have been a dangerous situation.
It does not appear the teen had any co-conspirators, police said.
County police and Baltimore County Public Schools are cooperating in the ongoing investigation.
CNN’s Eliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report.