Archive for Monday, November 26, 2001

Targeted high school declared safe

November 26, 2001


— Police said Sunday it was safe to open a school where three teen-agers had allegedly plotted to use explosives and guns to kill fellow students.

An all-day search of the sprawling 3,300-student New Bedford High School by 38 police officers and five bomb-sniffing dogs yielded no new evidence of the alleged plot, said police Lt. Richard Spirlet.

"We didn't think we were going to find anything," Spirlet said. "But we want to put the public at ease."

Police, school officials and faculty members gathered Sunday morning at the school to discuss the events and to confirm it would open as usual today.

Eric McKeehan, 17, and two juveniles who allegedly modeled themselves after the two students who carried out the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado were scheduled for arraignment today on charges that include conspiracy to murder.

The students were arrested at their homes early Saturday after a school janitor found a letter outlining their alleged plans to detonate explosives in the school and then shoot fleeing students. Police said the suspects planned to kill themselves when police arrived.

A search of the students' homes yielded bomb-making instructions, knives, shotgun shells and pictures of the suspects holding what appeared to be handguns.

Saturday's arrests came after an investigation that began when a student alerted police to the alleged plot in mid-October. Police questioned one of the suspects after they discovered bomb-making materials at an undisclosed property the following week.

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