GAINESVILLE, Ga. (CBS46) Police have arrested a teen girl at Gainesville High School after she allegedly threatened to attack members of a predominantly black church.
On November 15, resource officers at Gainesville High School were informed by school administration that a 16 year-old white female threatened to cause harm to multiple people at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
School administrators verified the threat and the investigation was turned over to Gainesville Police. The juvenile was later arrested. It's unclear if she is a student at the school.
“This is an active investigation and a prime example of how strong relationships between the student body, school administration, and law enforcement can intercept a potentially horrific incident.” said Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish.
The girl is charged with criminal attempt to commit murder.
African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Reginald T. Jackson referred to the teens's thought process as warped.
"We want this young woman charged as an adult and we want state legislature to pass hate crimes legislation, we wanna make sure this incident doesn't become a recurring issue in Georgia," added Bishop Jackson.
Investigators say the internet help radicalize the teen, and that she went to get knives to carry out the attack on member of the church.
"On an evening she went by the church and found no one to be there, luckily she mentioned it to another student and the student found it alarming," explained Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish.
The teen also idolized the racist shooter who killed nine people at the AME church in Charleston, South Carolina four years ago, according to investigators.
"This is an issue of hate. We love her, we're going to pray for her but I remind people when I preach, for every decision you make there's a consequence either for your betterment or for your detriment," added Bishop Jackson.
Dr. Jeremy Williams, Superintendent of Gainesville City School System, released this statement regarding the off campus threat from the GHS student:
"A single act by a student does not represent the views and beliefs of Gainesville City School System. As a school system that celebrates our diversity, we are beyond stunned with the recent development."
"However, we are extremely proud of our students notifying school administration of a possible off-campus threat. Gainesville Police Department, Chief Parrish, and our partnership with the School Resource Officers kept our community from having an unfathomable result."