Four Pennsylvania students were charged in plotting an attack on their high school on the 25th anniversary of the Columbine massacre on April 20, 2024, according to a statement from the Lackawanna District Attorney’s Office.
Two of the Dunmore High School students were charged as adults due to “the serious nature of the charges” while two other students were charged as juveniles, according to the district attorney’s statement.
The two students charged as adults, Alyssa Kucharski and Zavier Lewis, both 15, were arrested and charged with unlawful possession or manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, terroristic threats with intent to terrorize, aggravated assault, possession of explosive material, and engaging criminal conspiracy, according to criminal complaints for the two individuals.
Kucharski also was charged with risking catastrophe. The complaints allege Kucharski and Lewis conspired to hurt Dunmore High School students in a “Columbine style” attack, targeting three specific staff members and others.
On April 20, 1999, two students armed with guns and bombs opened fire inside Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killing 13 and wounding 23 others before killing themselves.
The Lackawanna complaint alleges that Kucharski told police that she first learned about the Columbine shooting when she was about 11 or 12 and “found it very interesting.” She explained to police that when she is interested in something, she becomes “obsessed” with it and planned for Lewis and her to recreate the shooting at their high school with bombs and guns in 2024, the year they were set to graduate.
She also told police she intended to cause more casualties than the Columbine massacre, and that she had already made incendiary devices, including Molotov cocktails, which she tested out near a river, according to the complaint.
Police found a Molotov cocktail in Kucharski’s home, as well as materials for others and drawings of pipe bombs and lists of guns and ammunition in Kucharski’s notebooks, according to the complaint. Police found a page in one notebook dedicated to information about the Columbine shooting, which included short narratives about Columbine shooters, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, according to the complaint.
Lewis told police that he “does not like the school and everyone in it” and that he and Kucharski had stopped “actively preparing” for the plan after Kucharski “found out that NBK was under investigation,” according to the criminal complaint for Lewis. “NBK” referred to a group chat the suspects used to communicate, according to the criminal complaint.
“While the investigation is ongoing, I want to assure the parents, students and staff at Dunmore High School that we do not believe there is any active threat at this time,” a statement from the DA’s office read. The Dunmore School District announced Friday that it had “been informed that the alleged perpetrators are in custody and we have been assured that there is no current danger to students and staff,” according to a statement posted on the district’s official website.
CNN reached out to the attorney for Kucharski as well as the Kucharski and Lewis families for comment and is awaiting a response. CNN has been unable to determine whether Lewis has an attorney.
‘NBK’ group chat
A parent of one of the juvenile students charged in the incident showed police a group chat created in May 2021, which Kucharski had named “Natural Born Killers,” also referenced as “NBK” for short, according to the criminal complaint.
One of the juvenile students included in the chat told police that Kucharski, Lewis, and another juvenile student were in the group chat, which was used to devise the plan of attack, according to the complaint.
“This is our group for the plans if u know what I mean,” a text by Kucharski in the group chat reads, according to the complaint. The four students allegedly discussed their plans for the school attack in this group chat and talked about how they would kill themselves after the attack, the complaint said.
Kucharski and Lewis were denied bail and are in Lackawanna County Prison with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday.