Authorities arrest NC student armed with weapons, 'hit list'

The high school student's "hit list" contained names of multiple individuals.

— -- A North Carolina high school student was arrested Tuesday in connection with a backpack police found containing several dangerous contraband items including knives, as well as a "hit list," authorities said.

Police in Thunderbay, Ontario, alerted the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation Fusion Center after they were flagged to an internet chatroom that contained suspicious material, the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation said. Canadian authorities were interviewing a girl in a different investigation, which led them to the chatroom, where they found posts allegedly made by the student about stabbing people.

After the bureau identified the student, it alerted staff at the Forest Hills High School in Marshville and the Union County Sheriff's Office.

A Union County Sheriff's deputy assigned as a School Resource Officer at the Forest Hills High School in Union County, North Carolina, found several knives, a bottle of flammable liquid, fireworks, a dismantled shotgun shell and a "hit list" inside the book bag of a student there, the Union County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina said in a statement Tuesday.

Police said the list contained names of multiple individuals and that the school is in the process of notifying everyone identified on the list.

The suspect, whose identity is being withheld because they are under the age of 16, is facing criminal charges, according to police. The teen was not on the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation's radar prior to his arrest, the bureau said.

Police credited the discovery to a tip it received from a Canadian law enforcement agency concerning chat room discussions where a Forest Hills High School student had threatened to "stab several kids at school today," the sheriff's office said.

Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey thanked the officers involved for preventing a "tragedy."

"The deputies and specifically the School Resource Officer, along with Union County Public Schools did an outstanding job of quickly identifying the student involved with the chat room discussions and finding the weapons before a tragedy happened," Cathey said in a statement.

The Union County School System also commended the officers for their "immediate response" to the matter in a statement released to ABC News affiliate WSOC on Tuesday.

"We take every threat seriously and staff will continue to work to keep all schools safe," the statement said. "All families at Forest Hills High School have been notified."

ABC News' Will Gretsky contributed to this report.