Residents of the eastern Washington town of Colville are reeling after police announced they had uncovered a murder plot by two fifth-grade boys, reports the Los Angeles Times. The boys brought a .45-caliber Remington 1911 semiautomatic handgun and a knife to school, intending to kill a classmate "because she was really annoying," say school officials. "My background is a high school counselor and psychologist, and quite frankly, in 30-plus years, I never heard of anything like this at this age level," says the superintendent.
The incident happened on the morning of Feb. 7 when a fourth-grade student told a teacher he had seen an older student with a knife. The teacher searched both the fifth-grader's bag and that of his friend, finding the weapons in the latter. The boys confessed their plan was that one would kill the girl with the knife while the other used the gun to prevent anyone from interfering. They also planned to injure six other classmates. "To me, 10- and 11-year-olds do bad things," said the local prosecutor. "They throw rocks through windows. They shoot BB guns at people's cars. They hit people with sticks, they set a cat on fire. Those are things that children do. But this was a plot to kill." A hearing to determine whether they had the capacity to commit a crime is set for Wednesday. (Read more Washington state stories.)