The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

March 27, 2013

Exam for Okla. man charged in school shooting plot

TULSA, Okla. — A mental competency exam was ordered Wednesday for an 18-year-old man charged with plotting to shoot fellow students and set off bombs at Bartlesville High School last year after luring them into the school's auditorium.

Washington County District Judge Curtis DeLapp ordered the exam for Sammie Eaglebear Chavez, who police say tried to recruit classmates to help in his shooting plan and threatened to kill those who didn't join him.A spokeswoman at the county court clerk's office said arraignment is set for May.

Chavez was arrested on Dec. 14, hours before a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Chavez's mother has said she doesn't believe her son would've carried out such an attack, and that he suffers from depression and post- traumatic stress disorder, among other ailments, and had been treated at mental health facilities.

She also told the Tulsa World in December that she received a text message from her son two days before his arrest, telling her that he wanted to "shoot up" the high school because he suspected some students were talking about him behind his back.

Messages seeking comment from Chavez's attorney and county prosecutors were not immediately returned Wednesday. A phone number for Chavez was not working.

Police said an assistant principal at the high school contacted them after a student said Chavez "tried to recruit other students to assist him with carrying out a plan to lure students into the school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut," an affidavit states.

The affidavit also said Chavez told students he wanted to place bombs by the doors and set them off when the police arrived, killing them as they entered the building.

Police later seized a rifle from his home in Bartlesville, a town located about 50 miles north of Tulsa.

Chavez is being held on $1 million bond in the Washington County Jail on a charge of conspiring to cause serious bodily harm or death to other students.


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