"It was heartbreaking. We’re lucky the cops stepped in and did they’re job well."- Bayside High School seniors talk about the two people charged with trying to commit a terrorist act at their prom over the weekend. More at 5. https://t.co/AstkFqhFAO— Allison Mechanic (@AllisonWTKR) June 12, 2018
Bayside High School’s prom last weekend in Virginia Beach, Virginia, could have ended very badly.
Two teens were arrested during the festivities on Saturday for plotting a terrorist attack that was set to take place at the prom. Michael Coleman, age 18, and an unnamed 17-year-old male accomplice, had both purchased tickets to the event.
Neither Coleman nor the 17-year-old were affiliated with the school in any way, which caught the attention of authorities and school officials.
“It was unusual for someone not associated with the high school, or with anyone at the high school, to want to buy a ticket to show up at that particular event,” Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera said. “Based on this information, the police department and the school safety department developed an enhanced security plan for the prom.”
Their hard work and extra vigilance paid off. After learning that Coleman had reserved a room at the Westin Hotel in Town Center on Saturday night — the same night as the prom — tighter security measures were enacted.
When police approached the younger of the two suspects, the 17-year-old ran off, throwing his handgun away while trying to escape from police. Authorities later found the teen, along with Coleman, while exercising a search warrant of Coleman’s hotel room.
That’s where they also found an assault rifle.
“I am grateful to the Virginia Beach Police Department and the school division’s Office of Safety and Loss Control who partnered with us to take the necessary steps to ensure our students could safely enjoy their senior prom,” Bayside High School Principal Jim Miller wrote in a statement.
Indeed, this could have been another incident of a school shooting that we’ve sadly become accustomed to in this nation. Thanks to the vigilance of school officials working with local law enforcement, catastrophe was averted.
This ordeal further highlights the greater need for stronger gun laws. Why an assault rifle was needed by a teenager should confound any sane American, gun owner or not. The weapon doesn’t seem like it belongs in the hands of any teenager, and that Coleman and his accomplice were able to get their hands on one is alarming, to say the least.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: IIIBlackhartIII/Pixabay