18 Year Old Arrested After Plotting Shooting On 25th Anniversary Of Columbine

 February 16, 2024

A chilling plot to attack Ontario Christian High School in Ontario, California, has been thwarted, revealing the depth of the danger that lurked within.

The plan for a school shooting devised by the accused, Villasenor, was intercepted thanks to proactive measures, preventing a potential catastrophe as he had amassed a significant arsenal aimed at specific students.

Villasenor's worrisome intent came to light following a tip-off from a concerned classmate who noticed his unsettling fixation on school shootings coupled with his access to weapons. Law enforcement's swift action led to the discovery of an alarming cache of firearms at Villasenor's residence. This hoard included seven rifles, two revolvers, another handgun, a shotgun, and over a thousand rounds of ammunition, laying bare the scale of the threat he posed.

A Deep Dive into the Suspect's Intentions

The seriousness of Villasenor's intentions was further underlined by the charges laid against him. The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has charged him with five counts of attempted murder and one count of making criminal threats. After his arrest, Villasenor remained in custody, with his prior clean criminal record offering no clues to the darkness brewing.

Ontario Christian High School's principal, Ben Dykhouse, expressed gratitude to the law enforcement authorities and the student whose alertness brought this plot to light. This sentiment reflects the broader appreciation for the roles everyone in the community plays in ensuring safety.

Ontario City Police Chief Michael Lorenz delved into Villasenor's unhealthy obsession with past school shootings, noting his research into tactical supplies and calculations on police response times to the school. Although Villasenor had not compiled a hit list in the traditional sense, at least five students had been singled out as potential targets, with a sixth also under consideration.

Community Response and Legal Proceedings

The potential timing of the attack speculated to be around April 20, underscored a macabre fascination with the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, adding to the alarm. Yet, despite this fixation and his plotting, Villasenor’s social challenges at school did not appear to stem from bullying but from difficulties in forming relationships.

Details surrounding Villasenor's legal representation and defense were unclear, with his arraignment looming.

School Principal Ben Dykhouse expressed his relief and gratitude: "We are grateful to God, the police, and to the student who was brave enough to say something when they saw something that was off."

Chief Lorenz shared insights into Villasenor's state of mind, noting that while there was no specific 'hit list,' it is believed that Villasenor had identified five students from Ontario as potential targets and was considering a sixth. According to the police, Villasenor did not experience bullying or harassment but faced challenges in establishing connections with peers and navigating social interactions.

Conclusion

The thwarted plot against Ontario Christian High School by Villasenor, marked by his acquisition of an alarming array of firearms and meticulous planning against certain students, underscores the critical importance of community vigilance and timely reporting.

The sequence of events leading up to his arrest, from the initial tip by a classmate to the discovery of an extensive weapons cache and the charges of attempted murder and criminal threats, paints a stark picture of what could have been a tragic day. This incident is a sobering reminder of the potential dangers lurking within seemingly normal surroundings and the indispensable role that law enforcement and community members play in preventing such tragedies.

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