Student from Boston plotted to 'shoot up school' in NC, sheriff says

HIGH POINT, N.C. — A 19-year-old student from Boston has been arrested in North Carolina for allegedly planning to "shoot up the school," according to the sheriff's office.

Paul Steber, a student at High Point University, was arrested with two guns on campus Tuesday night, the Guilford County Sheriff's Office told Boston 25 News.

Steber told police he admitted to planning a shooting, according to police documents. The documents show he had a "plan and timeline to kill people" and is considered a "threat to society."

Authorities allege he confessed he had intentions of shooting up the school, saying they have proof that his thoughts of violence began last December, when he started watching videos to learn how to carry out a mass shooting.

The High Point University student is listed by the sheriff's office as a Boston-native. He was a 2019 graduate of the Newman School, where he played soccer.

A tip from Steber's roommate alerted authorities that something was wrong.

"He was not going to be an outcast any longer," the district attorney said.

Steber allegedly planned to rush a fraternity with his roommate and, if they didn't get into one, he was going to kill his roommate and himself.

In an interview with Boston 25 News, Steber's former classmate at Newman School, Martin Lentz says Steber was known for his radical views and says he spoke often of guns and gun rights.

"I remember back in our economics class together, I sat right behind him and I could see the stuff he was looking up," said Lentz. "He spent a lot of time looking up NRA, guns, politicians and also the 2016 election results."

"He was definitely ostracized to a degree," said Lentz. "I tried to treat him well but I know I got into some arguments with him because of his political views."

According to FOX 8 in North Carolina, Steber's attorney said in court on Wednesday that his parents want him moved to a more therapeutic environment in Boston.

The headmaster of the Newman School, Harry Lynch, told Boston 25 News "we are all shocked and surprised" and "we saw no warning signs."

According to an arrest report, he was found with a 9mm pistol and a shotgun. Steber allegedly told investigators he went to North Carolina because it was easier to get a gun.

"We experienced an unfortunate situation today," the university wrote in a release. "Due to the diligence of the students who reported this and the swift response of HPU security, the firearms were confiscated and the matter was turned over to the High Point Police Department."

The court set his bond on the firearms charges at $2 million. He has been expelled from High Point University.

Comments on this article