Minnesota teen arrested in school massacre plot
Police have arrested a Minnesota teen after he allegedly plotted to murder his family before bombing his school and shooting any survivors.
John David LaDue, of Waseca, was charged Thursday with four felony counts of first-degree attempted murder, six felony counts of possessing explosive or incendiary devices while under 18 years old, and two felony counts of first-degree attempted damage to property, the Mankato Free Press reported.
According to police, LaDue planned to shoot and kill his mother, father and sister with a .22-caliber rifle. He then planned to start a fire in a rural field to distract first responders before heading over to Waseca Junior and Senior High School, where he would detonate pressure-cooker bombs and Molotov cocktails inside the school’s cafeteria.
LaDue allegedly wanted carry out the attacks on April 20, the 15th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado, but he had to postpone his plan because the date fell on Easter Sunday this year and the school was closed.
Police officers found LaDue inside a storage unit where he kept bomb-making materials after a tipster notified police that someone was acting suspiciously at the storage facility.
Equipment found inside the storage unit included boxes of ammunition, a scale, a pressure-cooker box and packaging material for red iron oxide.
LaDue reportedly told the responding officers that he would answer their questions if they could correctly guess what he was doing there. When an officer said it appeared that he was making bombs, LaDue agreed to go to the police station.
Police later searched LaDue’s home, where they found an SKS assault rifle with 400 rounds of ammunition and a Berretta 9-mm handgun with ammunition. They also found bomb-making materials and at least three completed bombs, the Free Press reported.
Inside a 180-page notebook found by police, LaDue detailed his thoughts about other school shootings such as Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook, including what he believed the shooters did right or wrong.
Police believe the attack would have happened sometime in the next few weeks. According to LaDue’s plan, he would have ultimately been gunned down by a SWAT team.
LaDue allegedly set off “practice bombs” at local playgrounds and softball fields. Some of those bombs were found in March and raised concerns, the Star Tribune reported.
Waseca Public Schools Superintendent Tom Lee said at a press conference on Thursday that LaDue was known as a shy student, but he earned good grades and did not have any incidents on his school record.
Police believe that LaDue acted alone.