SNOW HILL — Two juveniles were charged last week with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder after a “credible” school shooting plot months in the making at Snow Hill Middle School was uncovered last month.
On Friday, March 22, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Worcester County Public Schools officials about a potential threat at Snow Hill Middle School was brought to the attention of school administrators. The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office immediately responded and confirmed the threat was credible.
The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI), made up of members of the sheriff’s office and allied law enforcement agencies, was called in to conduct an investigation, which revealed the existence of a school shooting plot. As a result of WCBI’s investigation, a juvenile was detained at around 4 a.m. on Saturday, March 23. A second juvenile was detained on the morning of Monday, March 25.
At a press conference last Friday, Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli and Worcester County Public Schools Superintendent Lou Taylor announced the two juvenile suspects have been charged by the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and other counts related to the thwarted incident. Crisafulli said during the press conference any threat at Snow Hill Middle had been dissolved.
“The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office are confident that any threat to Snow Hill Middle School has been contained,” he said. “Our continuing investigation has not revealed any indication that any weapon or destructive device was actually brought onto school property. That Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office and Worcester County Public Schools are confident that do to the combined efforts, there is currently no active threat to Snow Hill Middle School or any other school within Worcester County.”
According to officials, the threat was uncovered by other students at the school, who reported it to administrators and ultimately the appropriate law enforcement agencies in the county. During the press conference last week, Taylor said the school system’s protocols for such incidents was followed and deemed successful. Taylor also praised the students who came forward with the information that led to the investigation.
“In terms of this event, our safety practices and protocols were effective,” he said. “The importance we place on fostering relationships with our students has paid dividends in terms of school safety. While we acknowledge that there is always more work to be done, I am proud to say the system works. See something, hear something, say something. It works. Our standing before you today is evidence of that. We are here first and foremost today to honor the bravery of several young people who prevented what otherwise could have been a tragic event for Snow Hill Middle School and our entire school system.”
Taylor said trauma counseling services are available to students and staff affected by the incident. Crisafulli also praised the students who came forward and reported the potential incident.
“A tremendous tragedy was prevented by the actions of the students who had the fortitude and courage to step forward and relay their concerns and fears,” he said.
Lastly, Chief Deputy Sheriff Mark Titanski asked for the public’s partnership in safeguarding the privacy of those involved in the case.
“While public safety is our goal first and foremost, we would also ask for privacy for the families and children involved,” he said. “The challenges that they face in coping with these events are significant and we acknowledge that moving forward in a healthy fashion will be considerable easier without the spotlight of media attention.”