School Climate & Safety

Topeka School Shooting Plot Intercepted, Police Say

By Evie Blad — January 15, 2014 1 min read

Topeka, Kan., police arrested a 17-year-old boy Tuesday who is accused of plotting to shoot two administrators and two police officers in the city’s Topeka West High School, officials said.

Police became aware of the threat after the teen “tried to encourage three others to help in the plot,” the Associated Press reported.

[Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor] declined to release many other details of the alleged plot. He said the investigation began in mid-December after authorities received a tip and the plot was stopped early in the investigation. "Make no mistake about it, this was a crisis averted," Taylor said. The suspect was not in Topeka during most of the investigation and was arrested while he was out of the city, although Taylor would not say where."

It’s unclear who told police about the plot or how they became certain it was a credible threat.

School safety experts have said early interventions in possible plans of violence and anonymous reporting by peers are some of the most important steps educators and policymakers can take to address school violence.

The suspect, Brendan Steven Moore, was being held on a $1 million bond Wednesday on four counts of soliciting first-degree murder, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

News of the Kansas teen’s arrest came as officials in New Mexico searched for answers following a Tuesday incident in which police say a 12-year-old entered a Roswell middle school gym and shot two students with a shotgun he was carrying in a band instrument bag. Police said that student dropped his weapon after a teacher confronted him.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.