Two Orange County teenagers were arrested Wednesday after they were apparently overheard discussing plans to "shoot up" Troy High School in Fullerton, saying the attack would be "bigger than Columbine."
Fullerton police say another student heard comments from the two 16-year-olds at a sporting event at the school. In addition to the comments about Columbine, the pair of teens also reportedly talked about the effectiveness of different types of guns.
The student witness then took a photo of the two and reported their conversation to an officer assigned to the school.
Police say the suspects had done internet research on guns and prior school shootings as recently as Tuesday. Investigators obtained search warrants for the student's residences and began collecting evidence from the students' cell phones and laptops. They did not locate any guns.
"Just because we didn't locate weapons doesn't meant that someone doesn't have weapons or access to weapons or plans to get weapons at another time," said Fullerton Police spokesperson Jon Radus. "We're happy at the time they didn't [have any]."
The teens were arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats and conspiracy to commit a felony. They are now being held at Orange County Juvenile Hall.
Police are confident no other students were involved with the incident, Radus said, adding that the student who reported the threatening conversation should be heralded as an example to others.
"Campus is safe," he said. "They saw something that they didn't think was right and they reported it to the police, and we can't thank them enough."
This story has been updated.