Greece Odyssey principal: 'My students saved lives'

January 24, 2019 08:11 AM

GREECE, N.Y. ( WHEC) -- The youngest suspect arrested in connection with a foiled plan to attack a small Muslim community downstate is being held on a $1 million bail.  

The 16-year-old boy was a student at Greece Odyssey. He made comments and showed pictures to fellow classmates of another person he said looked like a "school shooter."

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Those students alerted adults who launched an investigation that ultimately led back to the suspect himself.  

The 16-year-old is not being identified because of his age but police say they found three improvised explosive devices inside his home along Milford Street in Greece.

The principal at Greece Odyssey says if it hadn't been for the students who stepped up with information when they sensed something was wrong, this whole situation could have ended much differently. 

"The words that were said, the images that were shown to them, they knew it wasn't right. They knew it wasn't normal and it really didn't sit well with them. They were really disturbed by it and came forward right away," says Dr. Jeffrey Henley. 

The students were in Henley's office within 15 minutes of their conversation with the suspect and security was called right away.

"We go through threat assessment training, all the principals do, and we're taught that no matter what the threat is, no matter what the statements are, you always follow the same process because 99 percent of the time, it's nothing but that one percent of the time, like this, we save lives," he adds.

Greece Police were called and through their investigation, they determined the 16-year-old was working with three other young men to plan the attack.

Investigators say the suspects had gathered 23 long guns and made three IEDs in preparation for the attack and had it not been for that conversation around the lunch table, police may never have known about the plan. 


Jennifer Lewke

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