TAYLOR, Texas -- Three Taylor High School students were arrested Wednesday after they allegedly discussed plans in class about committing a school shooting, according to police.
Police arrested Devant Davis-Brooks, 17, Kadin Watson, 17, and Emmanuel Pina Tejas, 17, on charges of terroristic threat after several students overheard a conversation that the three seniors were discussing detailed plans to coordinate an active shooting at the school involving explosives and firearms. Officials said the conversation took place during class and one student reported it.
“(The student) heard them talking about planning a school shooting and a bombing," said Taylor ISD Superintendent Keith Brown. "There are no joking matters when it comes to school safety now, nothing about shooting up a school or blowing up a school is funny.”
After hearing the reports of the shooting plans, a Taylor detective and a school resource officer that were on campus were able to quickly investigate the claims and arrest all three of the students.
“We have a small town and to have something like this happen, it’s frightening," said Dustin Smith, a parent of a Taylor High School student.
In a letter to parents, the district said they take any report that is threatening to students, staff, and campus seriously.
"Please know that safety is of the utmost importance. We take any threat to our students and staff very seriously and we will work closely with local law enforcement to investigate and take appropriate actions," the district posted on Facebook.
Smith is grateful the school responded so quickly, but he also believes the work to stop these threats starts at home.
"Our schools are great. Our police are great. But at the end of the day, they’re not raising my son," said Smith. "I am."
Since Governor Greg Abbott's initiatives came out after the Santa Fe shooting, Brown said they've implemented 26 new safety measures in the district. Students are encouraged to speak up and if they see something, say something.
“I am impressed that this incident was reported by responsible Taylor High School students and taken seriously by the Taylor High School administrators," Taylor Police Chief Henry Fluck said. "The high school administrators immediately notified the two Taylor police officers, who were on campus at the time. I am pleased that it was handled swiftly with Taylor police officers being able to effectively intervene to remove the threat and that both students and staff are safe. It is important that the student suspects are being held criminally accountable for their threats and their violent plan.”
Police said none of the students possessed any weapons at the time of the arrest. All three students were taken to the Williamson County Jail, where they were booked and charged with terroristic threat -- a Class B misdemeanor.
Taylor is located about 30 miles northeast of Austin.