Two teens were charged with conspiracy to commit murder after one of them allegedly took a gun to school and at least one discussed shooting the principal and others, authorities said.
The boys, ages 14 and 15, were taken into custody Friday, said Lt. Brian Wright of the Montgomery County sheriff's office.
He said another student told sheriff's Deputy Kirk Hendricks, Auburn Middle School's resource officer, that the boys had a gun. "He probably saved some lives," Wright said.
Officers found a .22-caliber revolver and an undisclosed amount of ammunition, but it was not clear who the gun belonged to or how the boy obtained it, Wright said. He would not say where the gun was found. No shots were fired.
"We take this seriously, and the fact that we found a gun and ammo means this wasn't just talk," Wright said.
According to a preliminary investigation, at least one of the boys talked about plans to shoot Hendricks, Principal Guylene Wood-Setzer and at least one student, Wright said. Authorities would not say why the three were allegedly targeted.
The boys' names were withheld because they are minors. The 15-year-old was also charged with taking a gun onto school property and possession of a firearm by someone under 18.
Wood-Setzer declined to comment.
The school has 291 students in grades six through eight.
Riner is in southwestern Virginia, about 30 miles southwest of Roanoke.