Mom turns in 17-year-old son who plotted school shooting in journal: 'She's very courageous'

The mother of a 17-year-old high school student has spoken out after turning her son in to authorities upon learning he was plotting a mass attack on the anniversary of the Columbine massacre.

The Washington state woman, who identified herself only as Nicole, told CBS News she made the difficult decision to notify police in September after discovering her son's journal, in which he detailed a plan to attack College Place High School, where he was enrolled, on April 20, 2020.

The date will be the 21st anniversary of the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colo., which left 13 students and faculty members dead.

In the entry, Nicole's son allegedly detailed the specifics of his planned attack, including the use of pipe bombs and firearms to "blast anyone in sight."

When confronted about the disturbing contents of the journal, the teen reportedly claimed it was just a creative writing exercise. After grappling with the information, Nicole contacted authorities, who arrested her son on Sept. 17.

"I know a lot of people that go to College Place High School," Nicole told CBS News of her motivation to report her child. "It's devastating. I know I did all I can do and that I made the right choice."

College Place Police Chief Troy Tomaras told the outlet that he was "very grateful" for Nicole's actions, calling her decision to act after finding the journal "courageous."

"She's very courageous," Tomaras said. "It's clearly very emotional for her. She loves her son."

Nicole said the incident made her feel like she had done "something wrong" as a parent, adding that her teenager, who she still loved, had been battling depression and that she hoped he would be safer in jail.

"It takes a lot to do what I did," she told CBS News. "It wasn't easy."

The school released a statement in September following the unidentified student's arrest, writing that it took the threat "very seriously" and would "be working with the authorities to ensure the safety of all students and staff."

"We encourage all residents, staff and students to be aware of their surroundings and to report any suspicious activity to the authorities," it added. "Our goal and upmost priority is to continue our daily partnership with the College Place Police Department to keep your student safe here at College Place Public Schools."

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