Former D20 student in Colorado Springs accused of planning attacks on three campuses

Elbert County Sheriff's Office makes arrest based on call from concerned family member
D20 School threat
Posted at 3:30 PM, Apr 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-06 19:44:23-04

ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. — A former District 20 student is facing attempted murder charges on allegations of planning attacks on three schools in Colorado Springs, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Nineteen-year-old William Whitworth, who identifies as "Lilly," has been charged with felony criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree and misdemeanor interference with staff, faculty, or students of educational institutions, menacing, and criminal mischief. The suspect is currently being held in the Elbert County Jail.

An arrest affidavit in the case states the Elbert County Sheriff's Office was called to a home in an unincorporated area after a family member in the homemade claims Whitworth had made multiple references to school shootings and even allegedly threatened to shoot up a school.

Deputies spoke to the suspect at home about the concerns and reports of threats to campuses. A deputy said Whitworth nodded "yes" when asked if they had planned to shoot up a school.

Deputies noted that the suspect appeared to be intoxicated during their initial contact.

The deputy also asked what school the former D20 student had previously attended, to which they responded "Timberview Middle School." When asked if this was the school Whitworth was planning on attacking, the suspect nodded and gave "No specific reason" when asked why.

The deputy said Whitworth stated they were only about a third of the way from performing the school shooting and had been planning for a month or two. Whitworth told deputies that Timberview Middle School on Scarborough Drive in Colorado Springs was one of the "main targets" and the others were churches.

The deputy later asked Whitworth how much they had known about school shootings to which Whitworth replied "too much." The affidavit refers to a manifesto with an entire page referencing mass killings. The document allegedly includes drawings of classrooms and a detonator. According to the deputy, the suspect claimed they found a YouTube video on how to create a detonator.

The affidavit states deputies returned to collect evidence where they found more journals with details of a list of firearms and how to 3-D print them, detailed lists of numerous named individuals to be killed and their intended casualty versus injury rate, information detailing the creation of improvised explosive devices, and the locations of Timberview Middle School, Prarie Hills Elementary and Pine Creek High Schools.

There are no details of firearms or explosives being in the suspect's possession or in the home at the time of the arrest.

Whitworth has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 5. The bond is currently set at $75,000.

The news of these school shooting threats comes a day after students across Colorado and across the nation walked out of class to protest nationwide gun violence organized by the group Students Demand Action. Students with Banning Lewis Academy, Coronado High School, and Pueblo East High School were among some of the many that had students participate in walkouts.