Police have arrested a middle school student who allegedly planned to carry out mass shootings at schools in Northern California.
The Napa Police Department disclosed the arrest in a statement on Monday, saying it had thwarted potential shootings at River Middle School and Vintage High School in Napa, California, during winter break earlier this month.
Police opened an investigation on Dec. 31, when a student at River Middle School told authorities that a 14-year-old classmate had been planning an attack, the department said in a statement.
The student gave police evidence about the alleged plot and police arrested the suspect on Jan. 2, after executing search warrants at two homes in Napa, where officers found “further evidence related to the planning and research of a mass shooting incident,” according to the statement.
“When the victim told the student they were going to report this to police and parents, the suspect student threatened to kill the victim,” the department said. “The victim was able to provide evidence related to the threats against NVUSD [Napa Valley Unified School District] students as well as the specific threats against the victim.”
The suspect, whose identity was withheld, was still in custody as of Monday, police said.
The department said it interviewed several students as a part of its ongoing investigation. It also praised the student who came forward for averting a potential tragedy.
“We want to praise the victim for coming forward and talking to their parents and the police,” the department said. “We believe based on the information collected at this point, this was possibly a tragedy averted and are thankful for the information provided to us.”
Police did not say if the suspect would face criminal charges.