Utah teen accused of school shooting plot charged

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A teenager accused of bringing a loaded gun to his northern Utah high school as part of a plan to open fire on other students has been charged with four misdemeanor weapons violations, a sheriff's official confirmed Tuesday.

Authorities in Weber County say the teenager was angry after hearing rumors circulating about him and planned to shoot a former girlfriend and others on Dec. 1 at his high school in Plain City, a town of about 6,000 that is 45 miles north of Salt Lake City.

The 16-year-old has been charged in juvenile court with possessing a dangerous weapon at a school, possessing a weapon with intent to assault, carrying a concealed weapon and possessing a weapon as a minor.

Weber County sheriff's Lt. Lane Findlay confirmed the charges and said the boy was being held in a juvenile detention facility.

The teenager was scheduled to be in court Wednesday, but Findlay did not have further details about the hearing or when the charges were filed against him. Messages left with prosecutors weren't immediately returned.

The Associated Press is not naming the teenager because he is a juvenile.

A student at Fremont High School reported seeing the boy with a gun on Dec. 1, according to a search warrant obtained Tuesday by the AP.

An officer found a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic gun in the teenager's waistband.

The boy told the officer that the gun was "protection" from any potential school shooting and that he had been keeping the firearm inside a gun box in his bedroom for some time.

The teenager later told police that he had stolen the gun from a gun safe belonging to his grandmother. The boy lived with her in Plain City, according to the warrant.

Police said the boy then told officers that he'd had problems with students at the school after his girlfriend broke up with him and that he had been thinking about shooting the girl.

Deputies from the Weber County Sheriff's Office removed cellphones, a computer, ammunition, a gun box, gun safe, and notes and notebooks from the boy's home.

The student who reported seeing the gun initially said another person may be involved, so police evacuated the high school for about four hours while they searched classrooms.

Police didn't find any other weapons in the school and don't believe anyone else was involved.

It was unclear Tuesday if the teenager had an attorney. No phone number was listed for the boy's home.


Follow Michelle L. Price at https://twitter.com/michellelprice .

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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