Police Beef Up Security At South Pasadena Schools Despite Threat - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Police Beef Up Security At South Pasadena Schools Despite Threat

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South Pasadena, CA -

(FOX 11 / CNS) A beefed-up police presence was on display at South Pasadena schools when students began the school year today -- a response to what authorities say was a plot by two teenage boys to carry out a massacre at the city's high school.

Security is usually stepped up on the first day of school, but the alleged plot prompted officials to order an even more visible police presence today at all city schools, South Pasadena police Chief Art Miller said.

"We had officers from other adjoining agencies come out, to kind of just offer support (and) security and let people know that we feel very secure in our city, and we want them to feel secure as well,'' Miller said.

The South Pasadena Unified School District includes three elementary schools, one middle school and the high school that the two suspects in the alleged shooting plot attend.

"It's all overwhelming and shocking, because I wouldn't imagine this (would) happen here,'' South Pasadena High School student Nour Nallat told news media outlets this morning.

The two South Pasadena High School students accused of planning to carry out a "massacre'' at the campus were each charged Wednesday with a single count of making criminal threats. The boys, aged 16 and 17, appeared in Pasadena Juvenile Court and denied the charge, which is the equivalent of a not-guilty plea in adult court.

The students were arrested Monday after a four-day investigation that began with a tip from a resident who contacted school officials, who in turn notified police. Their names were not released due to their ages.

Although the threat has passed and the suspects are behind bars, Miller had said on Tuesday that he felt it was important to have a conspicuous police presence at the city's campuses today.

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, the two teens were talking about carrying out a mass shooting at the school and allegedly shared their plans with another teen. On Saturday, the students allegedly threatened to kill the third teen.

Miller said the plot was in its infancy, with no date set for the attack and no weapons in the boys' possession. But he said the two went to great lengths to research weaponry and tactics online.

The chief said the FBI was assisting investigators, primarily by doing forensic work on the suspects' computers. He said investigators had been monitoring the students' activity on social media, and that monitoring bolstered their belief the plot was viable.

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