A 16-year-old white girl has been arrested after police said classmates reported she had a plot to attack a black church in Gainesville, Georgia.
The unidentified student allegedly had a notebook with plans to murder parishioners at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which has a predominantly black congregation, according to a release from the Gainesville Police Department.
Police were contacted Nov. 15 after the girl’s classmates at the Gainesville High School alerted counselors about the alleged plot. She was charged with criminal attempt to commit murder and is being held at a youth detention center, police said.
Bishop Reginald Jackson, presiding prelate of the Sixth Episcopal District of the AME Church, told reporters Tuesday that the girl was inspired by Dylan Roof, the man who was convicted of killing nine black worshipers at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, four years ago in an effort to start a race war.
“Idealizing him and sharing the same ideology, she plotted to accomplish the same at Bethel church in Gainesville,” Jackson said. “This incident raises very serious issues and also raises questions that need to be answered.”
(more at nbcnews.com)