Cops: Teen Arrested After Disturbing Call From Sister

19-year-old accused of planning shootings at multiple schools, churches in Colorado Springs area
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2023 9:57 AM CDT
Colorado Teen Accused of Planning School Shootings
William Whitworth, said to identify as "Lily" or "Lilly."   (18th Judicial District Attorney's Office, via the Gazette)

A Colorado teen has been arrested and accused of plotting to "shoot up" schools and churches in the Colorado Springs area. According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Gazette, the sister of the 19-year-old suspect called authorities on March 31, noting that her sibling was exhibiting violent behavior, talking about school shootings, and even threatening to carry out a school shooting. When deputies from the Elbert County Sheriff's Office arrived at the home, they say they found the suspect—identified in the affidavit as William Whitworth but said to identify as "Lily" or "Lilly"—in bed, in a room filled with trash. "There were numerous containers filled with half-eaten food with mold growing inside and numerous alcoholic beverage containers [lying] around the house," the arrest record notes, per KKTV.

One of the responding officers also says that Whitworth admitted to being "[a] little drunk." When asked by deputies why they wanted to shoot up a school, Whitworth said, "No specific reason," and also said they were "about a third of the way from doing it [committing a mass shooting]," per the affidavit. Among Whitworth's alleged targets, per the affidavit: a local elementary school and middle school, both of which Whitworth had previously attended, as well as a Colorado Springs high school and multiple churches. Investigators say they found a floor plan to the middle school on a whiteboard in the bedroom, as well as a notebook with instructions on how to create DIY explosives and make firearms with a 3D printer, per the affidavit.

That document also notes that Whitworth admitted to watching a video online on how to make a detonator. No weapons were found inside the home, investigators say, though they note they found a "manifesto" with the names of mass shooters and a list of individuals "to be killed," per the affidavit. Although the affidavit lists Whitworth as a male, investigators say the suspect's sister referred to Whitworth as "Lily" and her "sister." A spokesperson for the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office tells the Gazette that Whitworth is in the process of transitioning to female. Whitworth has been charged with criminal attempt to commit murder, criminal mischief, menacing, and interference with staff, faculty, or students of educational institutions. Whitworth is being held on $75,000 bond, with their next court date scheduled for May 5. (More Colorado Springs stories.)

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