Hanford Residents Stunned after Teens Arrested

April 26, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Neighbors react to the news that two south valley teens are arrested for making and detonating a pipe bomb at Hanford high school.The two teen suspects were taken into custody Friday afternoon. Police say the 15 and 16 year olds are responsible for the bomb that went off at the school Thursday.

Police say the suspects were friends, fellow students at Hanford high. They raided the home of one of the students after getting tips from other students here.

Hanford police and the Visalia bomb squad believe they found more bomb making material in the home of one of the suspects. Lt. Greg Freiner, Hanford Police Dept., says "We are investigating and talking to others."

Neighbors were stunned by the police search. Adrianna Galloway, neighbor, says "Well, I'm shocked and surprised that it's so close to our home and these nice friends and families just across the street."

Police say the boys, aged fifteen and sixteen were friends. They are facing serious felony charges related to detonating an explosive device on a school campus, and other explosives violations. Action News asked Lt. Freiner, "Are we looking at junior terrorists here or are they closer to pranksters?" Lt. Freiner responded, "You know, it's hard to say at this time. The things that they made giving the situation that were deployed could have been very serious."

Nobody was hurt in the pipe bomb explosion at the school on Thursday. Those who know the boys say it must have been some kind of prank, not a terrorist act.

Doug Hall, neighbor, says "When I got in trouble when I was a teenager for malicious mischief and everything else we didn't call it terrorism back then. I'm not belittling what happened but it wasn't called terrorism."

But police say it could have been deadly. They credit other students with leading them to the suspects.

"The community can feel very safe and they can thank some of their fellow students that went to school with these young men. They were very forthcoming with their information and there are some good kids in this community, and unfortunately, this happens," says Lt. Freiner.

Police say they can't talk about a possible motive for the bombing. Lt. Freiner says he believes the boys families had no idea what they were up to.


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