Two teens have been charged with attempted murder after allegedly making threats toward their high school in Woodstock, Georgia, authorities said.
Alfred Dupree, 17, and Victoria McCurley, 17, allegedly conspired to harm specific teachers and students at Etowah High School using an incendiary device, said Sgt. Marianne Kelley, public information officer for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
On Monday, deputies made contact with Dupree, a student at the high school, and his family after receiving a tip from someone who had claimed to have seen a physical journal of his that contained threatening language, Kelley told ABC News.
Investigators were then led to McCurley after reading Dupree’s journal, where he made “concerning statements,” Kelley said. The statements made did not indicate when the attack would occur, only what their intentions were, Kelley said.
Investigators found an incendiary device at McCurley’s home in Woodstock after executing search warrants there and at Dupree’s home, Kelley said. The device was described as substances that could have detonated had they been mixed together, Kelley said. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is currently testing those chemicals, she said.
It is unclear if McCurley made any threatening statements herself, McCurley said.
Both teens have been charged with three counts of criminal attempt to commit murder, four counts of terroristic threats and acts, criminal attempt to commit arson and possession and/or transportation of destructive device/explosive with intent to kill, injure or destroy any public building, Kelley said.
Weapons found at McCurley’s home were not classified as evidence, but they were seized for safekeeping, Kelley said.
Dupree and McCurley are being charged as adults, Kelley said. They were arrested Wednesday afternoon and are currently being held at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center. They have not yet entered pleas to the charges against them.
The sheriff’s office filed the charges because it believed that the teens could have moved forward with the plot, Kelley said. She teared up during the news conference while discussing the seriousness of the matter.
Dupree and McCurley were characterized by authorities as just friends. They both underwent medical evaluations when they were initially contacted by authorities, but Kelley would not disclose the results.
Etowah High School Principal Robert Horn acknowledged the threat in a letter to parents and students, stating that there are no additional suspects or an active threat toward the school.
“The safety and security of all students and staff members is of utmost importance and CCSD will continue to partner with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office throughout the conclusion of the investigation to [ensure] that this is the case,” Horn wrote. “… Any threat on school safety/security will not be tolerated and as such these students will also face severe disciplinary action, as well as any application criminal charges.”
Dupree and McCurley are scheduled to make their first appearances in court on Thursday, Kelley said. It is unclear if they have retained attorneys.