Four pupils arrested at Summerville High School in Tuolumne, California, for plotting school shooting

Police found a list of victims that the pupils wanted to target in the shooting

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The Independent US

Four high school pupils in California have been arrested on suspicion of plotting a school shooting.

County sheriff Jim Mele told reporters that while investigating the plot, police had found a list of victims that the pupils intended to target during the shooting at Summerville High School in Tuolumne, California.

He added that the arrested male pupils, who have not been named as they are underage, have all confessed to planning a shooting.

When asked what their plot was, Mele said the pupils "were going to come on campus and shoot and kill as many people as possible."

He also said that the evidence also included details of "locations and methods in which the plan was to be carried out."

The date of the planned shooting was not revealed by Mele, but he did say that they wanted it to happen during a school event.

The plot was apparently uncovered when police were contacted by pupils and staff, who said the pupils had been making threats against members of the faculty.

Robert Griffith, the high school district superintendent, said the pupils were removed from campus as soon as they were identified.

Some people at the police conference were parents of children at the school, many of them worried sick by the news.`

Speaking to the Modesto BeeKristin Wilson, a parent of a Summerville student, said: "The thought of my daughter being on that list makes me sick. Do I want to know? I don't know. Maybe I do, maybe I don't."

Although the plan was reportedly in its early stages and there is no further threat, police said the children were in the process of getting weapons to carry out the shooting.

The four pupils have been arrested for conspiracy to commit an assault with deadly weapons.

Mele praised the students who came forward, saying their willingness to speak out may have prevented a tragedy.

The announcement of the foiled shooting came days after a gunman killed 10 people at a community college in Oregon.

There have been 45 school shootings across America this year alone, and a total of 142 since the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012 - the worst school shooting of recent times, in which 26 people were killed.

America has not gone more than eight days without a mass shooting this year, with 294 mass shootings across the country since the start of 2015.