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Aug 19, 2014 05:30 AM EDT

South Pasadena Students Arrested Over Plotting High School Shooting Spree

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Two South Pasadena High School students were arrested Monday in connection with a mass shooting plot.

Police officials said that the teenage boys conspired to kill three staffers and as many fellow students as possible with firearms at the School.

South Pasadena Police Department detectives began an investigation after being tipped about the alleged mass shooting plot by school officials. Detectives obtained enough evidence to arrest the students and stopped a potential mass shooting.

Police Sgt. Robert Bartl said that they found evidence of boys searching rifles, submachine guns, bombs and other explosives like propane. The boys about to begin their senior year at South Pasadena High School were also looking for ways to fire and assemble the weapons, cbs local reports.

"This is a prime example of school officials recognizing suspicious behavior," police Sergeant Brian Solinsky said. "It was this information that helped prevent a horrific tragedy," Reuters reports.

South Pasadena Board of Education Superintendent Geoff Yantz said that there was no threat to students or employees as the school prepared to open for the fall semester.

Students and parents were terrified upon hearing the news of the arrests.

"I'm really shocked," student David Yun said. "I would never imagine something like that happening at our school," another student said.

"It makes me feel scared to be a student here," said Spencer Gurley, a student at the high school. Another student, Chris Koo, added, "I never thought a student would have a problem with the faculty or students, to go to the extent to kill people," ktla reports.

The two arrests in Southern California come the day after another Los Angeles County boy was detained on suspicion of posting online threats to shoot students at local schools. Sheriff's officials said that those threats were intended as pranks.

Three weeks prior to the arrests, a Minnesota judge dismissed attempted murder and property damage charges against a teenager accused of planning a shooting and bomb attack on his high school.

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