This past week, a potential school shooting at Westmont Hilltop Junior-Senior High School in Johnstown, Pennsylvania was thwarted. Charged in the plot were 17-year-old Logan Pringle and 16-year-old Preston Hinebaugh. Both have been charged as adults. Hinebaugh is being held on $400,000 bond, while Pringle is being held on $250,000 bond.
According to reports so far, Pringle seems to be the mastermind of the plot, if that term can be used in this situation. Police say that Pringle has a history of making school shooting threats going back to 2018. In one incident, Pringle was said to have attempted setting fire to the school. That incident got Pringle expelled from the school and barred from school grounds.
Pringle was also said to have uttered a threat against the school while attending a church Sunday School…
“I will go back and shoot up Westmont High School. I just have to figure out how to get back in.”
Hinebaugh was allegedly his way back in. Hinebaugh is a current student of the school and is said to have allegedly let Pringle into the school so Pringle could scope out the security cameras.
However, it doesn’t appear that Hinebaugh was some kind of unwitting dupe in this plot. Hinebaugh is said to have posted a picture of Pringle in the school on social media, along with an ominous statement regarding Pringle’s return to the school. A school parent saw this social media post and contacted the authorities.
When searching Hinebaugh’s home, police say they found at least four AR-15 style semi-automatic rifles and a pump-action shotgun. Police also say that the AR-15s were all allegedly ghost guns. That means the gun parts were purchased separately, which allows the guns to be assembled without any serial number. And guess what. These types of guns are totally legal in Pennsylvania, among a number of other states. The guns were allegedly made by someone in the Hinebaugh family, but that someone has not yet been specified. However, Hinebaugh himself was said to have unfettered access and control of at least two of the guns.
On the other hand, or more like the same hand, Pringle was said to have an obsession with guns. He was allegedly learning how to make gun parts at a trade school and was barred from the Hinebaugh residence for discharging a shotgun through a wall.
So far, it sounds like we have another case of The Crumbleys on our hands. Sadly, this has become an all-too-common occurrence in the past 22 years. No word yet on whether anyone else in the Hinebaugh family will face any charges.
No motive for the plot has been made public yet, but it’s not uncommon for copycat plots and threats to follow a major school shooting like the one at Oxford High in Michigan.
This is just another example of how cancerous the gun culture in our country has become, and much like cancer, I don’t think we’ll ever see a cure in our lifetimes.
- Authorities: ‘Ghost guns’ among 5 weapons seized as teens charged in Westmont Hilltop school security breach; response ‘prevented a tragedy,’ DA says
- Authorities: Teens charged in trespassing case were in ‘planning stage of school shooting’
- Chief: Westmont shooting plot suspect made prior threats