I restore the Balance
Posted On:7/07/2003 3:20am
Style: I wear pants
Police: Teen Massacre Foiled
Jul. 07, 2003
By Dwight Ott, Patrick Kerkstra and Emilie Lounsberry
Inquirer Staff Writers
An 18-year-old man and two juvenile boys were arrested yesterday in suburban Camden County with a cache of rifles, swords and knives, and police said the three had planned to target students who attend Oaklyn Public School, then "randomly attack as many people as possible." Oaklyn Police Chief Christopher Ferrari said the three, including two students who had attended the middle school, had been planning to commit "multiple homicides" since early this year. "They were going to execute three individuals and continue until they ran out of ammunition with the killings throughout town," Camden County Prosecutor Vincent P. Sarubbi said at a news conference last night outside the Oaklyn Police Department. The alleged plot - evoking memories of shootings by students at Colorado's Columbine High School and other schools in the last few years - was discovered after a motorist flagged down Officer Charles Antrilli in Oaklyn at 3:48 a.m. yesterday and said the three had tried to carjack him. They surrendered to an officer after a tense but brief showdown.
Ferrari said the three had been poised to start the killings. Each was armed with a high-power rifle or shotgun, he said, and they had handguns with more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition. "It was sort of a Columbine-type thing, except they were going to be more mobile," said Ferrari, who also said that the three "had planned on not being taken alive by law enforcement authorities." Matthew Lovett, 18, who just graduated from Collingswood High School, was among those arrested. He lived in a small apartment in Oaklyn with his father and a brother. Police said Lovett was charged with aggravated assault, possession of firearms for an unlawful purpose and carjacking. Authorities did not identify the 14-year-old and 15-year-old juveniles because of their age. Officials said all three would be charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
The three called themselves the "Warriors of Freedom," according to teenagers who knew them. They were known sometimes to dress in all black like characters from the movie Matrix. One of them was known for drawing violent cartoons in class and felt bullied by students at the Oaklyn middle school, acquaintances said.
Officials would not comment on a letter, reportedly written by Lovett to his father and found inside their apartment during a search yesterday by investigators. "It would be inappropriate to comment on a specific document," Sarubbi said last night. The arrest shattered the calm of a sweltering day in the small borough of Oaklyn, just outside Camden. Police blocked off the street near the small apartment building where Lovett lived as they conducted a search.
Outside the ice cream store across the street, teenagers who knew the three said they practiced martial arts, virtually always wore black, and pretty much kept to themselves. "They had that Matrix look down," said Warren Haubois, 16, of Oaklyn.
Their plot focused on Oaklyn Public School, a combined elementary and junior high school with about 530 students. The two juveniles attended the middle school. Charles Earling, the principal of Collingswood High School, said last night that he had never heard anything in particular about Lovett before yesterday and was shocked at the news of the arrest. "To my knowledge, we've never had anything like this before. No suspicions, no threats," said Earling. Mathew Rich, who reported the carjacking attempt, told the Associated Press that he was leaving his wife's home when he saw the three, dressed in trench coats and standing in front of a school. One crossed the street in front of him, opened his coat to reveal a handgun, then signaled for his friends. Frantic and fearing for his life, Rich said, he managed to speed up and get past them and then alerted a nearby police officer, who chased down the three. Sarubbi said that Lovett "drew down on his handgun," but that all three of them dropped their weapons when the officer shouted for them to "freeze." "These guys were ready for a war," Rich said. Sarubbi described Lovett as the "shaker and mover" of the alleged plot, and said all of the guns were owned and legally registered by Lovett's father. "They were heavily armed with rifles, shotguns, pistols lodged in their belt and 2,000 rounds of ammunition," said Sarubbi.
Ferrari said that three of the targets were fellow students at the Oaklyn school, and that the next group of victims were to be chosen at random. Police said the weapons also included swords and knives. "These individuals were planning on killing as many people as possible in a short time and creating widespread hysteria," Ferrari said in a statement. He said the three "indicated they had previous problems with students at Oaklyn Public School, and potential targets were students here." Outside the ice cream store near the small apartment building where Lovett lived, teenagers gathered last night to talk about the alleged plot and the three teenagers who allegedly set out to carry it out. "They were quiet and scary. They were the weird people you wouldn't mess with because you were afraid they would try something like this," said Eddie Hernandez, 15, who goes to Collingswood High School. "They kept to themselves. I never heard more than one word out of them," said Haubois.
In the Collingswood High School yearbook, a quotation attributed to Lovett read: "Listen to the saffron melodies strummed on the brilliant strings of the sunrays."
Edited by - kungfoolss on July 07 2003 03:27:17
Kungfoolss, Scourge of the theory-based stylists, Most Feared man at Bullshido.com, and the Preeminent Force in the martial arts political arena
Day Tripper/Dream Weaver
Posted On:7/07/2003 8:28am
Style: Shorei-ryu & Kumdo & TKD
Well if they were going in with guns and knives, it sounds more special forces than regular h2h...Since SCARS teaches special forces, (using your type of logic) we can only conclude that these 3 were SCARS students not stylists.
By the way OwnedFools when are you going to comment on the fact that Peterson doesn't recognize you at all?
Jeremy M. Talbott
Owner of Kungfools, Scourge of Kungfools' joke-based logic, and the Preeminent Force in putting dumbasses like him to bed
Jeremy M. Talbott
Originally Posted by Phrost
"Bullshido isn't just a place to hang out when you're browsing the net. We really are trying to accomplish something fucking extraordinary here that nobody's ever had the balls to do before."
Originally Posted by D.Murray
"Which is better, to learn the truth, or to enjoy the illusion of being right when you are not?"
Originally Posted by hangooknamja88
My definition of Ki is our energy. it's rather hard to explain it in words. It's not some mystical type of energy like white people...
Hole in one.
Posted On:7/07/2003 1:28pm
Style: LongFist CMA
Don't bother, fools is mentally ill. You can't agrue with the mentally challenged. Its a lesson in futility.
Don't you find it funny the that report only mentioned that there was A sword among all the guns , therefore they had to be practicing MA stylists. He rewrote the begining of the story to emphasize the swords and the knives. The report I read on yahoo mentioned the sword at the end of the guns list. There was no mention that they did any MA practice at all.
Give to Haiti relief. text "haiti' to 90999
Posted On:7/07/2003 2:12pm
Ahh....I see....so OwnedFools is once again
It must be sad to be you OwnedFools..
You're right KFDW, let us move on. Sorry folks nothing to see here move along.
Jeremy M. Talbott
Owner of Kungfools, Scourge of Kungfools' joke-based logic, and the Preeminent Force in putting dumbasses like him to bed
Posted On:7/07/2003 2:37pm
Given the remarks about the Matrix, one wonders whether they were "self-taught" in MA... ;)
Posted On:7/07/2003 3:42pm
meaning, imitated the stuff onscreen...?
Posted On:7/07/2003 4:44pm
Please read closer, the OTHER students said they looked like the matrix. If any thing they are imitating swordfish.
OFFICIAL Mayor of Cwcville
Posted On:7/07/2003 5:05pm
Style: Electricity, Speed
Anyone see that episode of Upright Citizens Brigade where the kid tried to massacre his school with ninja throwing stars, only to later attempt to massacre his school with sumo wrestling? Classic.
Captain's Log: Just a little update for all my TRUE and HONEST friends out there:
1) I am STRAIGHT! I am STRAIGHT! Get it through your thick skulls, numbskulls!
2) My name is not Ian Brandon Something.
3) Kacey is coming with me now. I have stolen her from the other Christian Weston Chandler.
REMINDER: I am still the one and only true creator of sonichu and rosechu electric hedgehog pokemon
Posted On:7/08/2003 2:01am
It does say that they practiced martial arts.
It's nice to see that not every individual is governed by an emotional hatred for me blinding them to the facts. Thanks Osiris for pointing out the obvious to your peers. <img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>
Posted On:7/08/2003 2:31am
Teens accused of planning Columbine-style attack
Jul. 07, 2003
BY JOSEPH A. GAMBARDELLO, NORA KOCH, DWIGHT OTT AND JOHN SHIFFMAN
Knight Ridder Newspapers
PHILADELPHIA - (KRT) - Investigators suspect the three teens arrested in Oaklyn, N.J., just as they allegedly were about to launch a killing rampage in their small town found inspiration in violent computer games. Police said they seized three computer hard drives from the homes of Matthew Lovett, 18, and his two juvenile accomplices, and learned the name the trio reportedly had dubbed themselves - "Warriors of Freedom" - also is the name of an Internet-based combat game. Lovett's uncle, Thomas Crymes, said the June graduate of Collingswood High School whose mother died nine years ago was on his computer "constantly." "He never went anywhere with anybody," said Crymes. And among the names Lovett used in a letter left for his family was "the Neo," an apparent reference to the main character of "The Matrix, which is both a movie and a computer game. A law enforcement official said investigators want to see what sort of games the suspects were playing and if they were in contact with others who might have similar plans.
Bail was set at $1 million for Lovett, who appeared at an arraignment hearing before Judge John McFeeley by closed circuit television from the Camden County Jail, where the suspect was under suicide watch and undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.. Judge Louis Hornstine ordered the other suspects - who are 14 and 15 - remanded to the Camden County juvenile facility at Lakeland for separate hearings next week. The 15-year-old, who is tall and heavy, was represented by attorney John A. Underwood, who said his client "maintains his innocence." The other teen, who is tall and thin, did not have a lawyer. Camden County Prosecutor Vincent Sarubbi said the three were charged with murder conspiracy, carjacking and illegal weapons possession. Lovett also was charged with aggravated assault for pointing a gun at a police officer. Sarubbi said he would seek to try the juveniles as adults. None of the suspects has a previous criminal record, according to court records.
In a statement read by Crymes, Lovett's father, Ronald Lovett, apologized to the people of Oaklyn "for what my son Matthew has done" and thanked the police officer who arrested the three and thwarted their alleged plot. Police Officer Charles Antrilli chased down the trio about 3:45 a.m. Sunday after a motorist reported three youths tried to carjack him in front of the Oaklyn Public School. The motorist, Mathew Rich, 33, said he was on his way to work at Philadelphia International Airport when a youth in a long black coat stepped in front of him and motioned over a stocky youth in a black T-shirt who was on the school lawn. That youth lifted his shirt, revealing a revolver that he pulled out and pointed at Rich. He said he then noticed the youth in the long coat had a pistol in his hand. The third suspect hung back, he said. "The only thing I would think was these kids are going to kill me," Rich said. He swerved around them and sped off, making his way to the Oaklyn Police station. Lovett pointed his gun at the officer, but the three dropped their weapons when Antrilli ordered them to do so, authorities said. Police said they recovered two 30-30 rifles, a shotgun, two handguns, two swords, knives and 2,000 rounds of ammunition.
The firearms legally belonged to Ronald Lovett, who was not home when the trio launched their plot, which, officials said, had been planned since January. Police said the group planned to kill three middle school students and anyone else who got in their way in a random spree. Authorities said the youths on the hit list had been notified that they had been targeted, but they wouldn't identify them. In a rambling letter left at his family's apartment over a block of stores on Oaklyn's main street, Lovett indicated he planned to kill his family but decided it would be "too messy," according to law enforcement officials.
"I thought you'd like to know that I am a warrior, I am fighting for mankind's freedom. Freedom from this society," said the letter, which was signed "Sincerely, Me. Matthew. The One, the Neo, the Anti-Christ, etc. etc. etc."
While details of the lives of the two younger boys remained sketchy Monday, a portrait of Lovett emerged from his uncle's comments, an interview his father gave to CNN and the recollections of classmates. The description mirrored those of other teenagers who have staged and threatened to stage school killings around the country, including the Columbine massacre. Lovett often wore all black and was something of a loner. He spent a lot of time on the computer and was expert at video games, even giving advice online to players of a game called "Mech Commando" about how to re-arm and re-armor their combatants. Ron Lovett said his son became withdrawn after his mother's death and that he also often had to defend his younger brother, who has had to undergo 13 operations for a cleft palette. "When they used to go out when they were little, of course, people would pick on the brother and Matt would have to defend him," Ronald Lovett told CNN. "They didn't get along well with their peers." But, he said Matthew was a good boy who never was in trouble with the law. And, the father said, his son had never shown an interest in his guns. Ronald Lovett said he kept the handguns in a lock bock and stored the rifles and the shotgun in a closet.
Crymes said Ronald Lovett focused most of his attention on his younger son James because of his disability and his need for repeated surgery. "He was a great father, but there was not enough of him to go around," said Crymes. Still, Laura Doria, who runs a deli on the ground floor of the Lovett's building, said she often saw the family grilling out back or going on camping trips. The boys also had to endure the death of an older half-sister who was run down by a car a year after their mother's death, Crymes said. He said he could not believe that Lovett, who had no job, would carry out the plan. "If he was determined to do that sort of thing, he would have shot at the officer," he said. "All it was, was a call for help."
Classmates recalled that Lovett and his brother were both known as good artists and that Lovett even had talked about going to art school. He was particularly good in drawing figures in the Japanese anime style and enjoyed karate, they said.
But Lovett also was the target of teasing. The classmates said he was mocked for his bow-legged and stooped gait and his clothes. For years, he wore sweatpants when everyone else wore jeans. Then last year he started dressing in black or wore tight pants. "Matt was an easy target," said Paul Phillips, 18. "But he never lashed out. He just took it." "Everybody picked on him," said Tom Urick, 19, a 2002 Collingswood graduate. When the Collingswood Class of 2003 graduated June 19, Lovett joined his classmates at Rowan University in Glassboro for a party that included dancing and swimming from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. "It was our last get-together with friends," said Facundo Pazcovich, 18. "People were having the best time ever. But Matt was over in the corner with his head down." Jack Thompson, a Miami attorney and critic of violent video and computer games, made the connection between the name Oaklyn teenagers said the trio called themselves and the "Warriors of Freedom" online game. The site was not in operation Monday. "Game is down fixing major bugs!" according to the Web site's home page.
Thompson, who has sued game makers and studied their possible role in shootings around the country, said he was struck by how the three Oaklyn suspects also were armed with swords. He said a sword was "not a typical of weapon of choice in a carjacking" but it is a feature of the game "Grand Theft Auto Vice City," which includes carjacking. "In a sense, these guys probably were acting out a game, Thompson said.
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