The Associated Press

Oklahoma School Shooting Plot Foiled

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — Hours before a gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school, police in Oklahoma arrested a teenager for allegedly plotting to attack his high school and trying to recruit classmates to help him.

Police in Bartlesville, a community about 40 miles north of Tulsa, arrested 18-year-old Sammie Eaglebear Chavez shortly before 5 a.m. Friday on charges of conspiring to cause serious bodily harm or death. He remained in Washington County Jail on Saturday on $1 million bond, and he is due in court Jan. 11.

Court documents didn’t list an attorney for Chavez, and calls to a number listed in court documents as his reached a recorded message saying the line wasn’t available.

Layne Jones, an assistant principal at the school, alerted police to the alleged plot on Thursday, according to a probable cause statement. A student told authorities that Chavez had tried to “recruit other students to assist him with carrying out a plan to lure students into the school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut,” police said.

“Sammie tried to recruit other students to assist him with carrying out a plan to lure students into the school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut,” Bartlesville Police Lt. Kevin Ickleberry wrote in the affidavit.

Chavez told the students he planned to place bombs at the doors that he’d detonate when police arrived, and he threatened to kill students who didn’t want to join him, police wrote.

Investigators said Chavez told a teacher earlier this month that he had bought a .45-caliber gun and had been learning to shoot it. Also, the affidavit said Chavez had been trying to obtain a diagram of school facilities and had used a school computer to seek information on a .22-caliber rifle that could be mounted on a machine gun platform.

Students said they saw Chavez researching the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, in which 12 Colorado students and a teacher were murdered by two students who also died.

The district alerted parents and faculty by email around noon on Friday that it had investigated a “potential incident” Thursday and forwarded the information to the police department, which dealt with it appropriately. News was still trickling out about the attack in Newtown, Conn., in which a gunman forced his way into an elementary school and killed 20 children, all ages 6 or 7, and six adults before killing himself.

Superintendent Gary Quinn, in a news release, credited administrators’ quick action in following up on what he said had been unsubstantiated rumor and presenting their findings to the authorities.

“We appreciate the excellent relationship we have with our local law enforcement and their swift response to the information we provided them. We will always put the safety of the students of the Bartlesville Public School District first and foremost.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on wbur.org.
  • ThatGirlYouTorturedinSchool

    Some may ask what may bring children or teens to commit or even consider committing such crimes. Lets look at the life of a child that has been bullied.

    Remember that little girl who had her pants pulled down on the bus when she was in kindergarden and everyone thought it was so funny. Then every day people would call her names all through elementary school until she went home crying and the only way the bus driver could protect her from the others was to sit her in the front seat. Then in junior high the insults continued only this time occasionally someone would pretend to be a friend only to make fun of her. The girl who some nasty boys drew pictures of with blood dripping from between her legs because she had to borrow some pads from a girl during a school trip when she got her period unexpectedly. The girl who walked out of a class because the teasing was so horrible and the teacher couldn’t make them stop and she didn’t get in trouble because the teacher didn’t blame her. The girl who was in the principal’s office every day begging and pleading with them to make it stop, yet they wouldn’t. She got gum spit in her hair, her books, and glasses stolen and many other terrible things done without anyone being punished yet if she retaliated she would get detention. Then in high school she went to a new school, out of the area, where the teasing was less but it was still there occasionally but the damage was already done. She was an outcast but was able to manage to make some friends. The school was small and the staff kind. They did not allow such torture in their school. That girl still fell into depression and tried to kill herself and was hospitalized. She got help and recovered but never managed to graduate though she tried, the stress from all that happened was too much and she got her GED a few years after she should have graduated. Now 10yrs later she is an adult and is still socially isolated and still recovering from the lifetime of abuse YOU put her through and I bet you don’t even remember all those horrible things you did to her after all these years, you might not even remember her. She sure does. You will never see the damage your actions have done… I was that little girl.

    and people wonder what brings teenagers to commit such horrible acts. Some are driven to it by a life of constant torture while adults turn a blind eye to it. Some adults blame the victims for setting themselves up to be teased for not dressing, talking, or acting like everyone else. If we don’t conform we don’t belong, a major flaw in our society. This is what causes kids to crack. This cycle of abuse must be stopped.

    • Jon doe

      Lady get over highschool and move on u loser

  • Jane Doe

    @Jon Doe, I don’t know this person, but one thing is clear, she is not a loser. Whatever the case may be, you need to have sympathy for her and others, who have gone through those terrible evident as a child/teenager/adult. I was never talked about but I was one of the ones standing up for the ones that got picked on and ridiculed. She is not a loser but someone who is trying to overcome and live her life.

Most Popular