Transgender Individual Arrested for Allegedly Plotting School Shootings

Transgender Individual Arrested for Allegedly Plotting School Shootings
A police officer lifts barricade tape while in their vehicle in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Nov. 20, 2022. (Kevin Mohatt/Reuters)
Katabella Roberts
Updated:
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Charges have been filed against a man who identifies as a woman after he allegedly planned to carry out mass shooting attacks on multiple schools in Colorado Springs, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced.

William Whitworth, 19, was charged on April 6 following an investigation into threats involving the schools in Colorado Springs Academy District 20, officials said.

Whitworth, who told police he identifies as “Lilly,” has been charged with two counts of criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree, one count of criminal mischief, one count of menacing, and one count of interference with staff, faculty, or students of educational institutions.

The suspect is currently being held in the Elbert County Jail on a $75,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing on May 5, officials said.

According to arrest records obtained by local news outlets, Whitworth previously attended three District 20 schools in Colorado Springs for a total of nine months over a two-year period between August 2014 and October 2016: Prairie Hills Elementary, Home School Academy, and Timberview Middle School.
Arrest records state that a family contacted the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office after Whitworth allegedly made multiple references to school shootings and threatened to shoot up a school, NBC affiliate KOAA-TV reported.

Police reportedly visited Whitworth’s home and questioned him regarding the allegations, to which he allegedly responded by nodding his head when asked if he had planned to carry out a school shooting. According to arrest records, police believed Whitworth to be intoxicated when they arrived at the home to question him.

Police confirmed that Whitworth had once attended Timberview Middle School and the suspect allegedly confessed that he was planning on attacking that school for “no specific reason,” as well churches in the area, according to arrest records.

Police Find Manifesto

Whitworth reportedly confirmed to law enforcement officials that he had been planning the school shootings for months and had “too much” knowledge about school shootings.

His arrest affidavit reportedly references a manifesto with an entire page regarding mass killings, which allegedly includes drawings of classrooms and a detonator. Whitworth allegedly told police that he had watched a YouTube video to learn how to create a detonator.

Police reportedly took multiple pieces of evidence from Whitworth’s home, including journals detailing various firearms and how to 3D print them, detailed lists of individuals that were to be killed and how they would be murdered or injured, and information regarding how to build improvised explosive devices.

The journals also listed the locations of Timberview Middle School, Prairie Hills Elementary, and Pine Creek High School, according to police.

Officials did not state in arrest records that firearms or explosives were found at Whitworth’s home.

Eric Ross, a spokesman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, told The Gazette that Whitworth is in the process of transitioning to female.

It is not clear if Whitworth has legal representation. The Colorado Public Defenders Office, which represents the defendant, states that it does not issue comments to the media.

The charges against Whitworth come shortly after a former student of The Covenant School who identified as transgender and used male pronouns opened fire on the Nashville school, killing six people, including three young children.

Police said the suspect in that shooting, identified as 28-year-old Audrey Elizabeth Hale, also had a manifesto and had planned the massacre by drawing out a detailed map of the school, which included potential entry points.

Hale was shot dead by authorities on site.

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