Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Gainesville, Ga.

Student tip thwarts alleged plot to attack Georgia church

Nov. 20, 2019
16-year-old girl charged with planning an attack on a church after a classmate at a Gainesville, Ga., high school learned of the plan and notified a school administrator.

A 16-year-old white girl has been arrested after some of her high school classmates reported to school officials that she had a plot to attack a black church in Gainesville, Ga.

CNN reports that the girl, a student at Gainesville High School, allegedly had a notebook with plans to murder parishioners at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which has a predominantly black congregation.

The alleged plot was thwarted last week when a student overheard her classmate talking about the alleged threat and alerted a school administrator, who in turn notified a school resource officer, police say.

The girl, whose name has not been disclosed, has been charged with criminal attempt to commit murder and is being held at a youth detention center.

The student had been planning the attack for several weeks. She took significant steps, including researching black churches online and visiting Bethel AME once this month, police Chief Jay Parrish says.

Gainesville City School Superintendent Jeremy Williams said: "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," he said.

MORE. Police news release:


Please see recent news release.

A post shared by Gainesville Police Department (@gainesvillepd) on Nov 19, 2019 at 10:40am PST

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