19-year-old Paul Steber of Boston was arrested in August of last year for possessing firearms on the campus of High Point University in North Carolina. Steber reportedly admitted to police that he was planning a shooting on the campus, a shooting he had been planning since 2018. He was allegedly going to commit the shooting if his roommate made it into a frat and he didn’t. He also claimed he was tired of being an ‘outcast’.
Steber chose a college in North Carolina because it was easier to get guns in North Carolina than it was in his home state of Massachusetts. According to a former high school classmate, Steber would constantly look up guns, the NRA, and politicians while at school. He is also said to have studied other mass shootings like the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting.
His bond was first set at $3 million before a mental evaluation which somehow lowered it to $250,000. He was able to post bond in November of last year.
Yesterday, Steber entered into a plea deal with prosecutors that saw him only plead guilty to one count of possession of a firearm on educational property. Any charges related to the alleged school shooting plot were dropped. Steber was only sentenced to 24 months of supervised probation. He is banned from HPU campus and can not contact any school faculty or students. To top it all off, he’s being allowed to serve his probation in Massachusetts. I wonder if this was a sentence influenced by the current pandemic or did the prosecutors think they didn’t have enough evidence to convict on the charge of communicating threats of mass violence on educational property.
At least if Steber stays in Massachusetts, he’ll have a difficult time obtaining another firearm…supposedly.