crimesider

Columbine-Style Attack on Long Island High School Foiled, Two Teens Arrested, Say Police

Christopher Franko (Suffolk County Police)
NEW YORK (CBS/WCBS) Christopher Franko was hell-bent on carrying out an all-out assault on classmates and teachers at Connetquot High School on Long Island, and even recruited his girlfriend to help him, according to Suffolk County Police.

Franko and his girlfriend, Dana Saltzman were arrested Friday after the police were tipped off by a youth counselor that Franko may be planning to do harm to students and faculty at his former high school.

Dana Saltzman (Suffolk County Police)
"Mr. Franko and Miss Saltzman were going to purchase shotguns and then on June 10 they were going to enter Connetquot (High School) and were going to begin to randomly shoot students, faculty and staff," Suffolk County Police Sgt. William Doherty told CBS affiliate WCBS.

Detectives served warrants on Saltzman and Franko's home and seized computers and cell phones belonging to the pair. Police say that computer forensics revealed numerous web searches had been made of about explosives and bomb making. And Cell phone text messages showed that the two discussed their plans to buy guns and kill people.

Franko pleaded guilty in 2009 after police uncovered a failed 2008 plot to open fire on the same high school on the anniversary of the Columbine massacre. Police say Franko then recruited Saltzman to help him plan another attack, according to WCBS.

The latest alleged plot stemmed from relentless bullying from his classmates and angry Facebook exchanges, according to the New York Post.

Many students were enraged at an inappropriate comment Franko allegedly left on a memorial Web page for a teen that died in a car accident, the paper reported.

After the Facebook exchange, a mob of kids tried to storm Franko's home, and cops were called, neighbors told the Post.

Franko left Connetquot High School and graduated from a special-education program where he met Saltzman, who is still a student.

Police said Franko was forced to delay his plan because he wasn't old enough to buy the weapons. So he planned to buy the guns on his 18th birthday, June 8, and then attack the school, according to WCBS.

Saltzman was arrested May 30 and released on her own recognizance May 1. Franko was arrested May 6 and was remanded May 10 until his next court date, coincidentally scheduled for his birthday.

Both have been charged with conspiracy in the fifth degree.

  • Carlin Miller

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