Arsenal In A Gym Bag

The questions are familiar - the most common being: why?

This upstate New York community is in shock following the arrest of 18-year-old Jeremy Getman, a senior at Southside High School, who is suspected of planning to kill as many of his classmates and teachers as he could.

"This could have been Columbine," says John Murnan, a special agent for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

CBS News Correspondent Byron Pitts reports Getman had 14 pipe bombs, three smaller bombs, a propane tank, a sawed-off shotgun, a .22-caliber pistol and a book bag full of ammunition.

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Authorities say they became aware of the situation Wednesday after other students tipped them off about the weapons, most of which were found in a gym bag.

One of those students is a female classmate who had reportedly received from Getman a threatening note claiming that he had a gun.

"Several students became alarmed at the things the student (Getman) was saying," says John Trice, Chemung County District Attorney, in an interview with CBS Radio News. "They told school staff, which called the school resource officer."

That officer, Deputy Sheriff Robert Hurley, found Getman in the cafeteria and took him into custody.

While that was happening, the other students in the school were evacuated from their classrooms, aware that something was wrong, but not told what it was.

"They came ovr the intercom and said we need to get out now," says David Sambroski, a student at Southside.

"We had to run down to the library," says another student, Joe Thomas. "They wouldn't tell us what was going on. We were all scared."

Even after the arrest, authorities didn't let their guard down.

"New York State Police went through the school with bomb dogs," Trice told reporters, adding that no other weapons were found.

Authorities aren't commenting on whether anything significant was found later at Getman's home.

Getman is facing 10 felony counts of first-degree criminal possession of a dangerous weapon. Each charge carries a maximum of 25 years in prison if he is convicted. Getman is also facing one felony count of second-degree criminal possession of a dangerous weapon, a charge that carries a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Getman may pursue a psychiatric defense, his lawyer said Thursday. After getting the case Thursday morning, Chemung County Public Defender Richard Rich met briefly with the teen-ager then started to draw up a defense strategy, hiring a psychiatrist and talking to people who know the suspect.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday, but Rich said it is likely that Getman will waive that hearing, sending the case directly to a grand jury.

Getman was arraigned late Wednesday before Southport Town Justice Joseph Holly, who recommended that Getman seek psychiatric treatment.

Getman is being held at the Chemung County Jail, with bail set at $500,000 in cash or a bond of $1 million.



© MMI Viacom Internet Services Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report

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