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Archive for Sunday, April 23, 2006

6 arrested in plot to kill classmates

April 23, 2006

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— Six middle school students in a small Alaska town were arrested Saturday on suspicion of plotting to bring guns and knives to school to kill their classmates and faculty.

The students had planned to disable North Pole Middle School's power and telephone systems, allotting time to kill their victims and escape from North Pole, a town of 1,600 people about 14 miles southeast of Fairbanks, Police Chief Paul Lindhag said.

The seventh-graders wanted to seek revenge for being picked on by other students, Lindhag said. They also disliked staff and students, he said.

A parent alerted police of rumors of an attack, Lindhag said. He would not elaborate on the case.

"These are the ones who had major roles in this," Lindhag said. "All our information came through our interviews."

The students could face charges of first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, authorities said.

The alleged plot was the second broken up by police this week. Five Kansas teenagers suspected of planning a shooting rampage at their high school were arrested on Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the Columbine massacre.

The North Pole boys, whose names were not released, were among 15 students at the school who were suspended after a parent tipped police Monday evening. A child told the parent that rumors were circulating about the alleged plot, which had been postponed from Monday until Tuesday, Lindhag said.

The suspended students were identified by officers working with a school safety official. Parents were advised to keep their children away from the 500-student campus Tuesday.

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