UNION COUNTY, NC (FOX 46) - Investigators say a Union County high school student planned on stabbing his classmates. A tip coming all the way from a Canadian law enforcement agency early Tuesday morning launched the investigation - and within an hour a School Resource Officer had the teen, found the weapons and a hit list.
Union County officials are now praising the Forest Hills High School Student Resource Officer.
"When we get the information we don't automatically assume it's not credible. As the SRO of the school, we are the first line of defense," Deputy A.J. Wallace said.
Deputy Wallace said he followed procedure by getting the schools administration involved. The assistant principal removed the student from the classroom to a private room where Deputy Wallace could speak with him calmly.
"Asked him about things that were inappropriate to have in school. He was kind of vague at first. The led on to let me know there were items he knew he shouldn't have," Deputy Wallace explained.
He found knives, a bottle of flammable liquid, fireworks, and a dismantled shot gun shell.
Union County deputies received the tip from law enforcement in Canada who spotted the threat against the school on a chat room. That information was then shared through The SBI Information Sharing and Analysis Center Program.
"I'm encouraged we were able to stop it. This is a process that is in place throughout the nation. Throughout North Carolina we participate in and that we are very active in and the information flow worked in this case," Sheriff Eddie Cathey said.
The Union County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday's incident is why they have the partnership with the school system.
"Once I received the information...all we had was a potential name and grade level. If it wasn't for my relationship with the School Security Director Jeremy McGraw, I call him, and within less than 10 minutes I had the information I needed to pass on to A.J. Wallace. So, it's because of that partnership that yesterday was so quickly handled," Captain Cody Luke said.
No charges have been filed against the teen yet. Deputies are talking to the teen's friends and family, and looking through his journals to find some sort of motive why he would want to harm his classmates.