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Teens plot to kill enemies and random victims

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I just heard this on FoxNews, scary stuff.

Monday, July 07, 2003

OAKLYN, N.J. — The New Jersey county in which three teens allegedly attempted to carry out a deadly, Columbine-style attack wants to try the youths as adults.

Matthew Lovett, 18, and two other teens, aged 14 and 15, were plotting to kill three school enemies, then go after other victims at random, Camden County prosecutor Vincent Sarubbi (search) said.

The teens were charged Sunday with weapons offenses, attempted carjacking and conspiracy to commit murder.

Bail for Lovett was set at $1 million.

Armed with rifles, a shotgun, several handguns, swords and 2,000 rounds of ammunition, the teens were in front of Oaklyn Public School (search) when Mathew Rich drove by.

Rich, 34, was on his way to his job at the Philadelphia International Airport when he slowed to let three young men cross the street. He said one of them pulled out a gun.

It was then that Rich stepped on the gas of his Ford Focus and summoned authorities. Officer Charles Antrilli responded and arrested the three.

The teens were dressed in black from head to toe, prosecutors told Fox News.

Lovett, according to police, was the ringleader and had been plotting the attack for months.

Authorities did not release the names of the two other boys.

Lovett, who lives in Oaklyn, was also charged with aggravated assault, which stemmed from the teen pointing a gun at Antrilli, Sarubbi said.

Authorities seized two rifles, a shotgun, two handguns, two swords, several knives and the ammunition. Additional weapons were found at Lovett's residence. Sarubbi said the weapons belonged to Lovett's father and were lawfully permitted.

Lovett's father, Ron Lovett, told Fox News his son's arrest is "a total shock."

"Matt just graduated high school a few weeks ago. He had four As. Never in trouble at school, never in trouble in town with the law. He was a shy kid. You know, he did have socializing problems, but he was a good boy."

Asked if he believes his son had planned a Columbine-like attack, Lovett said "I don't know."

"He never fired a gun or loaded one in his life. I think somehow they were acting out a fantasy, a game and didn't realize the severity or reality of it all," he said.

Lovett also said he believes "video games and the Internet has played a lot in this," and said police confiscated four computers.

Lovett, who said he's "been busy trying to be a single parent" since his son's mother passed away nine years ago, said all of the found firearms were his.

"I never owned a sword. Throughout my life I collected guns. When Matt was born I locked the pistols away, but most of the ammunition is 20 to 30 years old."

Lovett said his son planned to hang out at home over the July Fourth weekend.

"We took our younger son down to the shore and I told Matt I loved him, kissed him, said 'will you be all right?'" I gave him some money -- he said he was going to get a pizza and have a friend come over and rent a video."

He added, "Thank God for the Oaklyn police."

Sarubbi said three people believed to be intended victims were notified Sunday of the plot. He declined to identify them, but a news release from Oaklyn Police Chief Chris Ferrari indicated they were school students.

WPVI-TV in Philadelphia reported that Lovett left his father a rambling note outlining his motives and the plot. In part, the station reported, it read, "My original plan was to kill you all."

Lovett's former classmate told Fox News Matt Lovett was picked on a lot at school.

Several teens in Oaklyn described Lovett as an angry young man who drew violent pictures, practiced martial arts and kept a list of his enemies since elementary school.

One teen who said he lived a few doors from Lovett said he was not personally afraid after hearing of the alleged plot.

"They would only do it to people who would make fun of them," said Joe DiLorenzo, 15.

Lovett's uncle, Tom Crymes, said a lot of attention in Matt's family had to go to Matt's brother, who has a cleft palette. He also said Matt spent a lot of time alone in his room on the Internet, and "needs counseling."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
post #2 of 10
It's sad that kids think they must do this to overcome their problems. Don't they realize that it only creates more problems? Thank God the police got involved before this shooting spree happened.

I think it's scary for teenagers now. I can't imagine what it will be like for the children's futures.
post #3 of 10
More reasons for me not to have kids.

post #4 of 10
I would just like to know when it changed in young people's minds that killing people is an OK solution to being picked on? I was picked on in school. Heck, I think everyone was to one degree or another. I had access to a LOT of guns, I knew where the ammo was, and I knew how to use the guns. But it NEVER crossed my mind to use them against people....ever! What happened to coping skills? Realizing that you are not the only important person in the world? That your wants and emotions are NOT the only thing that matters?

At least his father isn't just making excuses for him. I understand that he must be in shock, but nothing irritates me more than a parent saying "But he just couldn't do this" when they find them in the act.
post #5 of 10
As of this morning, the father has changed his tune. He was on the news, with a lawyer and said, "My son is incapable of hurting anyone. The letter was all a fantasy." Pretty sick fantasy, if you ask me.

How is he going to spin the carjacking? Its a good thing that these kids were so inept and the cops got them, before they could hurt or kill anyone.
post #6 of 10
I remember not that long ago (around 7 years) being in highschool and maybe wishing a few people dead, or joking about killing someone, but I never would have done it. I have been mad enough to do a lot of things, but killing someone has always been one of those things that is just not an option. I don't know when for kids it became an option. Throughout history kids have been picked on and have dealt with it and have grown stronger in character because of it. I realize that there is a breaking point but what happened to a good old fashioned punch in the face? Violence is not good in any way, but when I went to school if someone was picked on bad enough they either switched schools or stood up for themselves WITHOUT committing murder..

Who knows why it is now? Maybe the shift of values in society or the way they were raised? Maybe they have psychological problems? I remember kids taking weapons to school when I was younger but they were always too scared to use them. These kids today aren't scared of anything, not jail, not death, not anything. Why would they place so little value on their lives and the lives of others? It is sad what is happening to todays youths, and I pray for the 3 kids who just majorly screwed up their lives forever just for revenge.. Maybe they'll be able to make peace with themselves and the world one day..
post #7 of 10
Most kids nowadays are still okay. I've been teaching teenagers for over twenty years, and have encountered "problem students", but they really are a minority. Mobbing also isn't anything new, as some of you have pointed out. One thing does strike me - a lot of students have more trouble dealing with conflicts with other kids than 10, 20 or 30 years ago, and I wonder what role smaller families play. Several of the kids responsible for school massacres have had one, or no, sibling. That's not to say that if you're an only child, you're going to be screwed up, but for some kids, sibling rivalry and conflicts are good preparation for later life. As to what role violence on TV and computer games or Internet access play, I really don't know.
post #8 of 10
You know sometimes i think, i'm as guilty as these kids are, and as the murderers and rapists in all the jails, because a lot of what i do does support violence. I mean, I paid 30$ to watch T3. And what was that about? Dealing with your problems in a non-violent manner? I think not.

Everytime i read about things like this, it always reminds me that i need to make more of an effort to rid my life of violence.

If everyone does this, one day violence won't be the first course of action.
post #9 of 10
But Suraya, there is a big difference between seeing a movie or listening to music as a catharsis for anger - letting the entertainment be the outlet. I don't know you all that well except on the internet, but I feel pretty confident saying that you are not going to go out and start killing people who have made you angry. There were violent movies when I was growing up - I grew up in the era of the slasher flicks (Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th) and I can tell you that I sure don't remember new stories about kids emulating that to rid themselves of their enemies. In my parent's time it was the shoot-em-up Westerns, and they didn't go John Wayne on someone!

It is a good idea of rid yourself of the violence in your life, but I sure don't think that seeing a movie is contributing to the real violence that these teens and young adults are wreaking.
post #10 of 10
I agree with you totally. But you know... it's a double edged sword. Why is one form of violence entertaining, and another form not? You're right in that violence on TV shouldn't affect us. But that's not always the case. It's such a complex argument... violence, non-violence...
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