As reported in today's StarTribune, a "nice kid" in Minnesota had accumulated a storehouse of weapons in preparation for a widespread massacre.
WASECA, MINN. – John David LaDue had it all figured out. He would kill his mother, father and sister and then create a diversion to keep first responders busy while he went to Waseca Junior/Senior High School to wreak havoc.There, the 17-year-old planned to set off pressure-cooker bombs full of nails and metal ball bearings in the cafeteria. Students who weren’t maimed or killed would be gunned down in the halls, he told police...LaDue had planned and practiced for 10 months, refining the chemicals in his bombs to try to find a more lethal combination. He set off “practice bombs” on the playground at Hartley Elementary School, Faith United Methodist Church, Oak Park and high school softball fields. Some of those bombs were found in March, raising concerns.The criminal complaint said LaDue told police that he originally planned the attack for April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre that killed 13 people in Littleton, Colo., in 1999. That was thwarted because that day was Easter Sunday and there was no school...LaDue said he had an SKS assault rifle with 400 rounds of ammunition, a 9mm handgun with ammo and a gun safe with more firearms, all in his bedroom at home. He gave an officer the key to the gun safe and the key to his guitar case, where he said they’d find his notebook.He told police that he planned to kill his parents and sister with a .22-caliber rifle because it would make less noise than some of his other firearms. Then, he said, he planned to go to the surrounding countryside and start a fire. While police and firefighters were busy, he would go back to the school with bombs, firearms and ammunition. He planned to set off pressure cooker bombs in recycling boxes near the water fountains in the cafeteria and would shoot school liaison officer Jared Chrz “so that he did not stop him from his plans for killing more students,” the document said.LaDue told police that “if he had brought a gun with him to the storage unit … he would have shot the responding officers,” the complaint said.Seven firearms and three completed bombs were found in LaDue’s bedroom, the complaint said. Another three bombs, along with chemicals and other materials, were found in the storage unit. LaDue also had 60 pounds of metal ball bearings...
There were no clues evident from the student's personality:
LaDue was described by Waseca schools Superintendent Tom Lee as a “good kid,” who was quiet and a B student who made the honor roll. He was never in trouble at school and never had any dealings with Chrz, Lee said...“This little boy was shy, he never talked, always followed the leader,” she said. “I’m absolutely amazed...Lee said there hadn’t been any reports in junior or senior high school that LaDue had been bullied...“John was normal in every aspect. He was courteous. … He asked questions and followed instructions very well. He loved music and his guitar and did really well. He was polite and said thank you after every lesson.”
The only reason he was caught was that a lady looked out her window at the right time:
Chelsie Schellhas was washing dishes Tuesday night when she noticed a boy with a backpack and a fast-food bag walking through her back yard toward the nearby MiniMax Storage Units. “He walked through the puddles when there was a perfectly good road he could have walked on,” she said. “It just didn’t seem right to me..."
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