4 Teens Accused of Plotting School Attack on 25th Anniversary of Columbine Shootings, 2 Charged as Adults

Two students have been charged as adults and two as juveniles after they were accused of conspiring to violently attack their Pennsylvania high school in 2024

Police patrol outside Columbine High School on April 17, 2019 in Littleton, Colorado.
Photo: Photo by Chet Strange/AFP via Getty

Four teenagers have been accused of planning a violent attack on their own Pennsylvania high school inspired by the Columbine massacre.

Two students are being tried as adults and two as juveniles by the Lackawanna County District Attorney after the high schoolers were charged with conspiring to carry out a mass attack on Dunmore High School on April 20, 2024 — the 25th anniversary of the 1999 Columbine shootings that killed 15 people and injured 24, The Associated Press reports.

The two teens being tried as adults were identified by local ABC affiliate WNEP as Alyssa Kucharski and Zavier Lewis, both 15.

Kucharski, whose mother told The Times-Tribune her daughter was "obsessed with Columbine," had been storing "a Molotov cocktail, components for bombs, writings on how to make bombs, and handwritten lists of guns, ammunition and tactical gear" at her home, according to a criminal complaint, per AP.

High School Students
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The mother of one of the two teenagers being charged as a juvenile in the case said she found texts on the student's cell phone dating back to July, which included a group chat about plans to "shoot up the school," investigators stated in the criminal complaint, per AP.

The unnamed teenager didn't buy into the legitimacy of the plot until he discovered "20 to 30 Molotov cocktails" under Kucharski's porch, AP reports he told investigators.

Dunmore High School Principal Timothy Hopkins was targeted in the planned attack, according to the Times-Tribune. The administrator told the outlet that he knew both Kucharski and Lewis, whom he described as quiet, noting they never caused trouble.

"It's a little bit disturbing to find out something like that was being plotted," he said.

Kucharski and Lewis were transported to the Northampton County Juvenile Justice Center after a Sept. 16 arraignment. ​​Kucharski is being charged with possessing weapons of mass destruction, terroristic threats, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy, while Lewis is charged with possessing weapons of mass destruction, possessing explosive materials, criminal conspiracy, terroristic threats, criminal conspiracy and aggravated assault, according to ABC 27.

"While the investigation is ongoing, I want to assure the parents, students and staff at Dunmore High School that we do not believe there is any active threat at this time," District Attorney Mark Powell said in a statement, per AP. "We are relieved that this plot was uncovered before anyone was hurt and urge anyone who has information about potential threats of school violence to contact police immediately."

Dunmore School District posted a statement to Twitter also assuring faculty, students and community members that there was no "current danger" now that the suspects had been taken into custody.

"The Dunmore School District has been informed that a joint investigation is being conducted by the Dunmore Police and the Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office into allegations of threats against the School District and its employees," the statement read. "Please be advised that the Administration has been informed that the alleged perpetrators are in custody and we have been assured that there is no current danger to students and staff."

PEOPLE contacted Dunmore School District Superintendent John Marichak and the Lackawanna County District Attorney for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.

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