Two South Pasadena boys have been charged with making criminal threats for threatening to kill another teen who knew of their alleged plot to shoot students and staff at their high school, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The boys, aged 16 and 17, are each charged with one count of making criminal threats. They both made appearances this afternoon in Pasadena Juvenile Court and denied the charge, which is the equivalent of a not-guilty plea in adult court, according to City News Service.
The father of the 17-year-old boy spoke with NBC4 outside of the courtroom, but asked that his name not be used. He said he has not been able to speak with his son and he does want to hear the boy's side of the story.
"We were greatly saddened and disappointed by the allegations. We would like to apologize to the community of South Pasadena. We would like to thank the person who stepped forward, who had the courage, to advise the authorities," he said.
"And thank South Pasadena Police Department for their professionalism and their kindness to us during this difficult issue."
The step-father of the 16-year-old boy also spoke to reporters before he was whisked away by a defense attorney.
"My wife and I would like to apologize to the whole community, every student, every parent, every faculty. We do not condone this kind of behavior," he said.
Prosecutors say the teens began making detailed arrangements to kill three staff members at South Pasadena High School and gun down as many students as possible.
The pair told another student about the mass shooting plan and they threatened to kill him, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The plan was thwarted after the boys were arrested following a police investigation into the alleged plot.
The boys were arrested Monday after a search of their homes. South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller said the threat the two posed was credible.
"It was very viable, what they were plotting," Miller said. "They were making a huge plan of a school massacre."
Searches of the boys' computers turned up evidence they were looking at weapons, bomb-making supplies and bulletproof vests, Miller said.
The investigation into the thrwarted plot is ongoing and the boys may face additional charges.
The boys' attorneys were not available for immediate comment.