In 2018 Uvalde police arrested 2 teens for plotting Columbine-style mass shooting at middle school

Police said 8th graders were “infatuated with the Columbine High School shooting”

Courtesy: Google Maps, 2018

UVALDE – There was another school shooting plot aimed at a Uvalde school but it was thwarted when police arrested two teens who had detailed plans for what was described as a “mass casualty event.”

In 2018 police arrested two 13 and 14-year-old boys.

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They initially plotted an attack at Uvalde High School in 2022, their senior year, on the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. But police said one of the teens convinced the other to move the date of the attack sooner and instead carry out the plot at Morales Junior High School that year.

The 2018 arrests have been brought to light and are being reexamined following Tuesday’s attack at Robb Elementary School, where an 18-year-old high school dropout killed 21 people.

During a media briefing on Friday morning, Steven C. McCraw, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety said Ramos was not connected to that 2018 plot.

In the aftermath of this week’s elementary school shooting, the Uvalde mayor and state leaders have called for more resources for mental health in the town with about 16,000 residents.

In 2018, police said the arrested teens were infatuated with the Columbine school shooting, identified with the shooters, and even referred to themselves using the Columbine shooters’ names.

Uvalde police received information on April 19, 2018, one day before the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, regarding the teens’ plan to attack the middle school which included targeting several individuals.

Uvalde police said the 14-year-old was a student at the middle school and the 13-year-old was a former student.

Both teens were evaluated by mental health services and four days later, the 14-year-old was released into the mother’s custody, police said.

With the assistance of the Texas Rangers, authorities found one of the juveniles had “writings and drawings which depicted weapons capable of causing mass destruction.”

The teen also wrote about being “God-like,” killing police and other people, and had an academic analysis of one of the Columbine shooter’s journal.

UPD detectives and a Texas Ranger also discovered that the pair had conducted internet searches on tactics used by the Columbine shooters and read about how to make improvised explosive devices as recently as three weeks ago, a press release from police in 2018 said.

Police said the teens were planning on detonating the explosives at the start of their attack to begin killing first the students they listed at the middle school and then “kill as many students as possible,” and ranked the student victims by priority.

On April 25, 2018, authorities obtained juvenile directives to take the students into custody, in which prosecutors charged them for conspiracy to commit murder. They were placed in a juvenile detention facility in Del Rio.

According to the press release, the investigation also determined that the teens “identified a nearby neighbor's residence as a target for burglary where they intended to procure their weapons.”

Because the boys were minors at the time of the crime, their identities were not made public. Therefore, their detention status is unclear.

The 2018 press release from UVPD:

About the Authors:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

Rebecca Salinas has worked in digital news for more than 10 years and joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.