PLUMSTED — The New Egypt High School student charged with planning to open fire at the school's graduation ceremony is facing more serious charges after the state Attorney General's Office got involved in the case.

Matthew Vanderbeek, 19, has been charged with first-degree terrorism by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office after getting clearance from Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.

If found guilty on this charge, he could face 30 years to life in prison.

Vanderbeek was arrested June 19 after prosecutors said he was connected to social media threats to shoot students and staff at the Ocean County school. He had also attempted to buy a weapon prior to his arrest, authorities said.

After his arrest, he was charged with third-degree terroristic threats and second-degree attempting to possess a firearm for an unlawful purpose.

Despite the threats and Vanderbeek's arrest, New Egypt held its graduation ceremony on June 21 as planned.

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