Uvalde middle schoolers' Columbine-style attack foiled by authorities in 2018: report

Uvalde, Texas, has seen multiple school shooting threats, including foiled Columbine style attack

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The school shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school was not the first time a Uvalde school was in the crosshairs of a mass shooter, coming four years after authorities foiled a plot to carry out a Columbine style attack against fellow students at Morales Junior High School.

Two Uvalde middle school students were arrested in 2018 for conspiracy to commit murder, with police saying the 13-year-old and 14-year-old were plotting what was described as a "mass casualty event against the school," according to a May 2018 report from KENS 5.

Uvalde Chief of Police Daniel Rodriguez said the two teenagers were largely influenced by the Columbine High School attack, even referring to themselves by the names of the two shooters that carried out 1999 massacre.

"The investigation revealed that the students were infatuated with the Columbine High School shootings and identified themselves to the shooters. The investigation uncovered that the students even referred to themselves using the Columbine shooter's names," Rodriguez said at the time.

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A woman cries as she leaves the Uvalde Civic Center, Tuesday May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.

A woman cries as she leaves the Uvalde Civic Center, Tuesday May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

Investigators said the students wanted to carry out the attack years from when it was uncovered, with the duo planning to go through with it during their senior year in high school on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting. In addition to firearms, the teens planned to use IEDs during their attack.

"One of the students had numerous writings and drawings, which depicted weapons capable of causing mass destruction. He wrote about being ‘God-like’ and killing police and other persons," read a police press release at the time. "He had an academic analysis of one of the Columbine shooter's journals."

The teens had a list of students they plotted to kill that were listed by priority, after which they planned to kill at random before eventually turning their weapons on themselves.

People leave the Uvalde Civic Center following a shooting at Robb Elementary School, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.

People leave the Uvalde Civic Center following a shooting at Robb Elementary School, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

"It was scary. We hear it everywhere else, but you don't expect for it to happen in your town," a parent said of the arrests at the time. "I am glad they were able to control the situation before anything does happen. And that they actually did something about it. Sometimes you think they're just going to hear it, and say it won't happen and dust it under the rug, and they actually did something."

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"Any kids that had talked bad about them or said anything they did not like, basically, they said they were going to go and kill them," a student said at the time. "You just felt unsafe. And teachers have been bringing it to our attention that you can't be saying those things anymore. We can't do that. It is wrong."

A few years later, a Uvalde school was again in the crosshairs when the high school was forced to lockdown due to threats of violence against the school.

A man lights a candle outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

A man lights a candle outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Investigators identified a 16-year-old residing in Puerto Rico as being responsible for the threats, with police saying the teen was a former student that had caused trouble in the area a few years prior.

"We have dealt with her before here, she went to school here in 2018. We had problems with her back then," Lt. Mariano Pargas Jr., with the Uvalde Police Department, said at the time, according to a report in the Uvalde Leader-News.

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Police say the teen threatened to carry out a shooting at multiple schools in the area, phoning in the threats over the course of a few days.

It is unclear whether the 2018 and 2020 incidents have any relation to this week's deadly shooting in Uvalde, where an 18-year-old killed 21 people at Robb Elementary School. The Uvalde Police Department and Texas Department of Public safety did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.