Acting on an anonymous tip, police foiled a possible attack on Carson High School where nine freshmen planned to disrupt classes with smoke bombs, pipe bombs and fireworks, an official said.
Carson City Sheriff's Sgt. Darrin Sloan said officers received the tip Wednesday night and confronted the suspects Thursday morning when they met up at a pre-determined location at the school.
"They weren't going to do anything today," Sloan said. "They were just going to recon the school, find out where the cameras are and the fire alarms and where they were going to place their pipe bombs and smoke bombs."
On Thursday morning, deputies arrived at the school early and watched the surveillance camera of the location. When four students arrived at the location at 7:30 a.m., police contacted them.
"Sheriff's deputies and one sergeant interviewed the students with the assistance of high school administration and it was determined that the goal of the students was to interfere with the school day and cause general havoc," said Sloan. "They wanted it to appear the place was on fire and gunshots were going off, and just make the school evacuate. That's what their main goal was."
He said none of the four students interviewed at the school had possession of smoke bombs, pipe bombs or firecrackers. There is no indication the group planned a physical attack on anyone, either, he said.
Armed with a list of the remaining five suspects, officers spent the morning interviewing the students.
Sloan said after one 15-year-old boy was interviewed and denied his involvement, he went to the high school and threatened three girls he suspected of telling police.
Sloan said the boy told the girls he'd kill whomever told. The teen was arrested.
Sloan said a dean at the high school told him that all nine students would likely be suspended, have to transfer to an alternative high school and lose their credits for the semester.
Sloan said the case is being reviewed by the District Attorney's Office for possible charges.
Sheriff Ken Furlong said though it is not thought that the students intended to harm anyone, their plot would have caused panic and law enforcement would have converged with force on the city's only high school.
"Had this occurred " it would have sounded like gunfire" and come in to us as an 'active shooter' and the danger to the student body would have been huge," said Furlong.