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Cops say a local Columbine foiled

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by E.L., Apr 30, 2009.

  1. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Cops say a local Columbine foiled

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    <!--END STORY NAV--> <!--STORY--> <!--RELATED INFO--> <!--PIC--> [​IMG] LISA KRANTZ

    Twenty-two-year-old Jorge L. Alfaro leaves federal court after an initial hearing Tuesday.

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    <!--endclickprintexclude--> By Eva Ruth Moravec and Guillermo Contreras
    - Express-News

    <!--END STORY CREDIT/RSS--> <!--STORY CONTENT--> A stash of fully loaded weapons, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, body armor and a detailed diary with stories of other school massacres told San Antonio authorities that a former Harlandale High School student was not joking about alleged plans to carry out his own attack.
    But because the mother of Jorge L. Alfaro, 22, intervened and called police, law officers said, the bloodshed that may have been imminent at Harlandale was avoided. The district, however, canceled classes Tuesday as the seriousness of the matter emerged — allegations that Alfaro intended to go on a shooting spree at the high school as “revenge” for the way he was treated there. Classes resumed Wednesday.
    Alfaro was arrested Monday on a federal charge of possessing an unregistered short-barreled shotgun — one of five firearms confiscated by San Antonio police and federal agents.
    Alfaro's family called police because they feared he would carry out threats to kill high school students and staff members, said Sgt. Gabe Trevino, spokesman for the San Antonio Police Department. He said Alfaro also threatened to commit suicide, claiming he wanted to die on his birthday. Alfaro turned 22 on Monday.
    At a hearing Tuesday, Alfaro seemed oblivious as he was informed the charge against him carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. At another hearing Wednesday, he appeared wearing a surgical mask, with three family members in the audience. They declined comment.
    His federal public defenders requested more time to review Alfaro's case before the judge makes a determination on whether Alfaro qualifies for bail. The judge agreed and reset the hearing for May 6.
    Alfaro has declined to comment.
    Authorities said Alfaro legally bought the guns — two shotguns and three semiautomatic handguns — from area sporting goods stores. Until recently, Alfaro had worked at a fast-food restaurant, but his family told police he had no friends, was harassed and beaten in school and that he had become an introvert.
    “This is an example of where the mother courageously got involved, contacted police and got her son the help he needed,” said Bart Mora, resident agent in charge of a specialized unit of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in San Antonio. “Through cooperation with the San Antonio Police Department, we prevented the problem from happening.”
    According to a police report, Alfaro's mother, Cista Hernandez, confronted her son Monday morning as he was leaving their South Side home carrying his arsenal.
    The report says Alfaro told his mother he was going to get revenge for the harassment and physical abuse he allegedly endured at Harlandale High.
    Harlandale Independent School District officials acknowledge Alfaro attended school there in 2003, but declined to comment on the allegation of harassment and abuse.
    According to the police report, Hernandez, 41, was able to calm her son and convince him to go to University Hospital for treatment. She then called police, who arrested Alfaro at the hospital.
    A federal affidavit filed by the ATF said police found several loaded weapons, about 1,000 rounds of ammunition and body armor, including a bulletproof helmet.
    Authorities said they also found a notebook filled with detailed plans and notes about the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech University.
    Alfaro told his mother that Monday would be a good day to carry out his plan, since it was his birthday, authorities said.
    School district spokesman Pete Barcenez said school trustees decided to cancel classes after holding an emergency board meeting Monday night. Students had been scheduled to take a portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test Tuesday and will make it up Monday, said Superintendent Robert Jaklich.
    He said he and his staff worked through the night, making flyers to hand out to parents and students explaining the district's decision to cancel classes.
    “The biggest fear that anyone has is that somebody is going to hurt one of your students or one of your staff members is going to get hurt,” he said.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    So they canceled school after the perp was already in the hoosegow. What nonsense. An "overabundance of caution" indeed.
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