Two people were arrested for conspiring to commit a terrorist act during Bayside High School’s prom at Virginia Beach Town Center over the weekend, Virginia Beach Police announced Monday.
At a press briefing, the chief of police said the department received a community tip on May 30 that some people not associated with the school were trying to purchase tickets to the school’s prom at Westin Hotel Town Center, which took place from 6-10 p.m. Saturday.
As a result, the school and VBPD developed an enhanced security plan for the prom. The school division conducted internal security while the police department handled external security at the hotel and surrounding parking garages.
The student, a 17-year-old Virginia Beach boy, wanted to attend the prom. When police approached him, he ran and discarded a 9mm handgun in the process. Although he was not apprehended that night, authorities got information from social media for a search warrant of a hotel room.
After entering the hotel room, the suspect was identified and a 45 caliber semi-automatic rifle was also confiscated, which led to charges of Conspiracy to Commit a Terrorist Act and Possession of a Weapon as a Juvenile.
An adult, 18-year-old Michael Coleman, was also arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Commit a Terrorist Act.
The chief of police told News 3 the terrorism charge is “due to the totality of the investigation and the weapons involved” but was unable to elaborate.