High Point University student accused of planning campus shooting pleads guilty in plea agreement

North Carolina news

HIGH POINT, N.C. — A High Point University student accused of planning a campus shooting pleaded guilty in a negotiated plea deal in court on Tuesday.

Paul Arnold Steber, 19, of Boston, during an interview with police, admitted to plotting the shooting and was deemed a “threat to society,” according to court documents.

Steber was taken into custody in August and charged with two felony counts of weapons on campus or other educational property and one count of communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property.

Steber appeared in court for a negotiated plea on his charge of possession of a firearm on education property.

He pleaded guilty to that charge.

In exchange, the court dismissed a second charge of having weapons on campus or other educational property and a count of communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property.

The court issued a suspended minimum sentence of 5 months up to a maximum of 15 months. His probation is not to exceed 30 months. He also is not allowed to go on High Point University property or contact HPU staff or students.

The judge gave Steber a suspended minimum sentence of 5 months up to a maximum of 15 months, a 72-day split sentence with credit for time served, followed by 24 months of supervised probation.

Throughout his probation, he also is not allowed to go on High Point University property or contact HPU staff or students.

During the first year of his probation, he is required to perform 100 hours of community service.

“The university understands that this plea deal continues banning the former student from all campus property and banning him from contacting any students or staff,” High Point University said in a statement. “We continue to commend the students who reported this situation, as well as the quick action taken by HPU Security and the High Point Police Department. Their quick action demonstrates caring for the campus community at its finest. Remember: If you see something, say something.”

Steber reportedly had a “plan and timeline to kill people,” court documents say.

The High Point University student was found with two guns and ammunition in his dorm room.

On Aug. 28, in court, the district attorney said Steber had been thinking about this since last December, researching mass shootings and watching videos of what happened in Charleston.

The teenager allegedly told investigators he came to High Point University because he wanted to be in North Carolina where it was easier to get a gun.

Steber has since been expelled from HPU.

In November, Steber posted a $250,000 cash bond and was released from the High Point Jail.

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