An unimaginable tragedy was averted after police authorities in Waseca, south Minnesota on Tuesday arrested a 17-year-old teenager and foiled his plot to kill his family and bomb his school. According to USA Today, the teenager, whose identity the police initially kept under wraps has been revealed as David LaDue. He was made to appear in a juvenile court where four counts of attempted first-degree murder, six counts of possessing explosive or incendiary devices and two counts of criminal damage to property were charged against him. The teenager apparently told police officials that he wanted to kill as many students as he could.
The teenager had no accomplices and was acting alone and had planned to execute the attack in the next few weeks hadn’t he been caught. The teenager had managed to obtain a considerable and disturbing amount of firearms and ammunition, according to the police. They added that the activities of the teenager was tipped by a resident who became suspicious about him at a self-storage facility. When the police looked there, they found several materials that could be used to make bombs.
“This case is a classic example of citizens doing the right thing in calling the police when things seem out of place. By doing the right thing, (an) unimaginable tragedy has been prevented,” a police official said.
Meanwhile, the school authorities are relieved to have escaped what would have been a “horrific experience” had the teenager’s plans of attacking the school gone thorough. According to School Superintendent Thomas Lee, the teenager who has been arrested was an 11th-grader and that he had a shy personality.
Initial signs of trouble in the area started when police found three explosives at a school playground in the area in late March. After his arrest, the teenager has admitted that it was he who had planted the explosives there as practice bombs. The teenager also had a 180 page notebook with him that detailed his plans and intentions.
According to the Free Press of Mankato, the notebook also detailed his plans to kill his mother, father and sister. His next step was to start a fire in a rural field so that he can distract first-responders. In the meantime, he would head towards the school where he would set off pressure cooker bombs in its cafeteria. Other aspects of his plans involved throwing Molotov cocktails, gun down students and kill a school liaison officer while he helped injured students. The ultimate goal of his elaborate plan was to get himself killed by a responding SWAT team. The notebook also had references to the Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook school shootings.
After the arrest, the teenager who was initially on the defensive told officers what he was up to if they could guess correctly. An officer guessed about he making explosives to which he nodded in affirmative and agreed to speak. He then revealed that he had kept bombs, ammunition and guns in is bedroom and also gave the key to a safe where he had kept seven firearms, ammunition and three functional bombs alongwith black clothing and a ski mask, KARE-TV reported.
The 17-year-old teenager has been sent to a juvenile detention center in Red Wing, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported. His next court date is May 12.
[Image by John Cross]