Police: Pottstown Teen Planned Shooting Spree

Police say teen wanted to shoot everyone he didn't like, then himself.

 This story was originally posted January 7, 2009.

A 15-year-old Pottstown teenager, was planning to shoot everyone he didn't like at Pottstown High School, and then himself, said investigators.

The teen is charged as an adult, with attempted murder.

Investigators say the teen had three guns - a 45mm, a 22mm, and a 357 magnum with 300 rounds of ammunition.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said the investigation started after the teen's dad reported that his guns had been stolen from a gun locker in his basement.

Police say he later admitted to them that he took the guns from his home and gave them to a friend to “hold” them for him.

According to police, the student said he was planning to have his friend take the guns to Pottstown High School where he would shoot everyone he didn't like and then himself. He said he was going to tell his friends to stay home from school. The teen said he planned to carry out the attack after the New Year when he thought his theft of the guns would be forgotten.

Police say the 16-year old friend showed the guns to his stepmother. She then drove him to the Manatawny Creek in Pottstown's River Front Park, where the teen dumped the guns into the water.

The friend went to school and told a teacher what had happened. The teacher told school officials, who "within minutes" notified authorities, Ferman said. Divers recovered the guns and ammunition that day, and tests found them fully functional.

Neither the 16-year-old friend nor his stepmother has been charged with any crime, but the investigation continues, Ferman said.

The teen was characterized by prosecutors as a typical kid; a loner who has battled depression. Academically, he was a good student, but his grades had slipped and this year he was repeating the 9th grade.  

He has been charged, but not arrested because right now he is in a secure facility, said Ferman.

A statement from the superintendent on the district's website says:

"I am reporting the results of an ongoing investigation. I am calling to report to you today, through the combined efforts of the Pottstown School District, Pottstown Police Department, and Montgomery County District Attorney's office, a potential threat to our high school was identified and has been prevented. I want to assure you that at no time were our students or staff in any danger. Today, the District Attorney's office will file charges against a Pottstown High School student in connection with the incident. The student is presently being detained pending further evaluation. We will continue to provide information as is permitted by the District Attorney's office and as it becomes available. As always, we will continue to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of our students and staff."
Contact Us