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Officials: Teens charged for plotting mass murder

District Attorney Mark Powell also wants to assure parents that they do not believe there is any active threat to students or staff at Dunmore High School.

DUNMORE, Pa. — It was a worrisome day for parents and students of the Dunmore School District following the news of a planned threat that was thwarted.

The Lackawanna County District Attorney says four students conspired to carry out a mass casualty attack on the school on April 20th, 2024.

The 25th anniversary of the Columbine massacre.

Two of the students, Alyssa Kucharski and Zavier Lewis, both 15-years-old, are being charged as adults.

The other two as juveniles.

Parent James Orr has seven children in the Dunmore School District.

“They were very, they had a plan. They were going to do it no matter what and when they're that committed to doing it, that's when bad things happen,” said Orr.

Dunmore police were tipped off after a concerned parent reported finding disturbing text messages on her child's phone.

Investigators say the texts began in May and show the teens were discussing plans to shoot up the school and kill the principal, the school resource officer, a teacher, and students.

A search of Kurcharski's home on Clay Avenue found multiple explosives including Molotov cocktails, CO2 bombs, gunpowder, and drawings of pipe bombs.

Jonathan Nasko says this hits too close to home as he has two children at West Scranton High School.

“Two years ago, all them bomb scares we had down there and you just never know,” said Nasko, describing the frequent bomb threats that prompted the evacuation of the school multiple times.

Investigators say when they questioned Kurcharski, she admitted to being obsessed with the shooters of the Columbine attacks.

Kurcharski said she and Lewis wanted to recreate Columbine with the goal to have more casualties than that attack.

She and Lewis had agreed to die by suicide after.

The Lackawanna County District Attorney says Kurcharski and Lewis are being held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Northampton County.

A preliminary hearing for them is set for October 4th.

The other two teenagers are not being detained.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Two students are being charged as adults and two more charged as juveniles after police say there were plans for an attack on Dunmore High School.

Zavier Lewis, 15, and Alyssa Kucharski, 15, are being charged with possessing weapons of mass destruction, terroristic threats, and other related charges.

Two other students are being charged as juveniles for their involvement.

Officials say the attack was planned for three years from now on April 20, 2024, which would be the 25th anniversary of the Columbine Massacre.

Authorities were tipped off after a concerned parent came forward with a disturbing string of text messages.

Fortunately, the plot was uncovered before anyone was hurt and police urge anyone who had information on any threats to contact police immediately.

District Attorney Mark Powell also wants to assure parents that they do not believe there is any active threat to students or staff at this time.

The two that are being charged as adults are currently locked up in a juvenile detention center as they await their preliminary hearing on October 4.

This is a developing story and updates will be provided as they become available. 

Newswatch 16's Peggy Lee will have the full story tonight at 10 and 11.