Oh my: Mother arrested after adolescent mass-murder plot thwarted

Police arrested a 14-year old Pittsburgh boy for threats to commit mass murder at his high school, an attack thwarted by another student who overheard him on their bus and called in the tip. Investigators found a large cache of weapons and ammunition, indicating that an attack could have happened at any time. How did a 14-year-old boy get his hands on such an arsenal? That’s what the district attorney wants the mother to explain, who is also now facing charges of her own:

The mother of a 14-year-old who police say planned to shoot multiple classmates at his Pennsylvania high school was charged on Monday in connection to the foiled plot, authorities said.

Lenora Ann Hendrix, of Markleysburg, Pennsylvania, was charged with knowingly and intentionally delivering or providing a firearm to a minor, according to ABC affiliate WTAE, after her son threatened to carry out a mass shooting at Uniontown High School last month. …

Police later obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s home and recovered from his bedroom a semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun, two machetes, throwing knives, two lever-action rifles, a revolver, a cross bow, “and bulk ammunition for all of the weapons,” Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower said at a news conference in January.

According to the charging document, the mother admitted to supplying her son with the weapons. Hendrix told investigators that she wanted to teach her son responsibility and “let him grow up.” Firearms can certainly help with that, but only when the parent takes responsibility, too. If the point is to help a teen mature, then perhaps one weapon at a time makes more sense, and enough ammunition for target shooting and hunting, rather than bulk ammunition and multiple firearms. Start small, work up, and retain control of the weapons while making sure that the proper respect for life and property has been instilled in the teen.

It’s too early in the case to know exactly what happened in this household, but the threats from the teen (if true as alleged) show that he was not mature enough to handle that kind of firepower. The mother should have known better than to allow him to stockpile weapons and ammo in this manner. Hendrix may have some hard lessons coming up on responsibility herself. Hopefully, the teen will get an opportunity to turn his life around too. Maybe everyone will get a chance to “grow up” here.