A 16-year-old girl has been arrested after authorities discovered her plan to kill people at a predominantly black church in Hall County.
The teen, who is white, planned to attack Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, according to Gainesville police.
"Our investigation indicated that the church was targeted by the youth based on the racial demographics of church members," Police Chief Jay Parrish said Tuesday in a news release. "The church was immediately notified of the incident by the Gainesville Police Department to ensure the safety of our community and the current threat was under control."
According to Channel 2 Action News, the girl visited the church once, but no one was there. It's not clear how she planned to carry out the attack, but Parrish said the teenager was collecting knives.
Gainesville High School administrators learned about the alleged action from students who told the girl had a notebook with "detailed plans to commit murder" at the church, Parrish said.
Administrators informed the school resource managers about the plan Friday and launched an investigation. They verified the threat and handed over the investigation to Gainesville police, who took the girl into custody, Parrish says. Her name has not been released.
The teen was charged with felony attempted murder and taken to the Gainesville Regional Youth Detention Center.
"This is an active investigation and a prime example of how strong relationships between the student body, school administration and law enforcement can capture a potentially horrific incident," Parrish said.
We work to learn more.
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations to keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.