Minnesota Teen Plotted To Bomb His School & Kill His Family, And Was Arrested After A Tip-Off
It's a terrifying scenario: a teen with a deadly plan and an arsenal of weapons. Police have arrested a 17-year-old Waseca, Minnesota student, charging him Thursday with attempted murder and explosives counts after discovering his plan to bomb his Minnesota school and kill his family. Apparently, the teen had it all planned out: he'd shoot his parents and sister, start a fire as a diversion, then head over to the local junior and senior high school to set off homemade explosive devices.
Luckily, his massacre plot failed thanks to a witness who tipped off police. Someone in the neighborhood called officials about a suspicious person at a storage facility, and when officers arrived Tuesday, they found materials including a pressure cooker, gunpowder, and pyrotechnic chemicals. At his home, they discovered an SKS assault rifle, 400 rounds of ammo, and several other guns. Needless to say, the teen was arrested.
In a journal the teen kept locked in his room he detailed his procedure, which was expected to be carried out within the next few weeks. The 180-page notebook also referenced the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook school shootings, according to CBS. The junior idolized the gunmen involved in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, and reportedly told police he wanted to carry out his attack on April 20, the anniversary of the incident. Things didn't go according to plan, however, as the 15-year anniversary fell on Easter this year.
Waseca police Capt. Kris Markeson said in a news conferences that the teen would most likely have been able to carry out the attack because of "the amount of preparation that he put into this," and documents revealed his attempt to kill "as many students as possible" then die in a shootout with police.
Though the fear factor hasn't waned, mass violence in American schools has unfortunately become the new normal. "Lockdown" is a common term in educational facilities, with security drills set as standard procedure. Advocacy groups such as Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America counted 13 school shootings just six weeks into 2014.
Which begs the question: are schools doing enough? Researchers are devising new ways to protect students from school shootings, but it's not just guns they have to worry about. In April, a Pennsylvania teen injured 21 at his high school after slashing and stabbing staff and students.
In the case of the Minnesota teen, he thankfully didn't get as far, though local school officials said teachers tried reaching out to him, USA Today reports.
"It's not like he was unknown to us," Waseca Schools Superintendent Tom Lee said. "He was known. People made lots of contact with him. We tried to do everything we possibly could do to build relationships with him as well. But sometimes even when you're trying to do everything possible it doesn't turn out the way you want it to."