Law enforcement officers have arrested a North Carolina student after he was reported by a classmate for suspicious activities.
The 19-year-old freshman at High Point University in North Carolina was later learned to have been planning a mass shooting on his campus and was subsequently charged with “two felony counts of having a gun on campus and an additional count for making threats of mass violence,” ABC News reports.
A fellow classmate did the right thing and reported this kid to authorities.
He is locked up and charged with two felonies. Now he will never be able to purchase a gun due to his background.
— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) August 29, 2019
According to the report, the student “allegedly had ammunition and two firearms — a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and a double-barrel, 12-gauge shotgun — in his dorm room when he was arrested. Authorities said he dose not appear to have any criminal history.”
He had been plotting the shooting since December and had studied previous shootings, including the 2015 church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, prosecutors revealed at a court hearing Wednesday.
Steber, a Boston native, told authorities that he came to North Carolina because it was easier to gain access to guns, prosecutors said. He said he intended to carry out a shooting by Christmas.
Police did not offer specific details about his plans, but prosecutors said Steber desperately wanted to pledge a fraternity and the plot hinged on whether or not he got into one.
Prosecutors said he purchased the firearms last weekend in North Carolina, and that he planned to kill himself and his roommate if Steber didn’t get into a fraternity and the roommate did.
The High Point Police Department thanked and praised the other student who reported the potential school shooter.
“This incident illustrates the importance of the public reporting suspicious activity to authorities,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday. “Information from the public is often the critical first step in preventing acts of mass violence.”
The university similarly praised those who were involved in preventing the mass shooting.
“Due to the diligence of the students who reported this and the swift response of HPU security, the firearms were confiscated and the matter was turned over to the High Point Police Department,” the university said per ABC News. “HPU Security and HPPD appreciate that students reported finding the firearms to HPU staff. HPU encourages students to follow the rule of “If you see something, say something.”