Oregon School-Bomb Suspect Charged With Attempted Murder

by
Reuters
An Oregon high-school student accused of making bombs and plotting a massacre like that carried out at Columbine High School in Colorado 14 years ago was charged on Tuesday with 19 criminal counts, including attempted murder.

An Oregon high-school student accused of making bombs and plotting a massacre like that carried out at Columbine High School in Colorado 14 years ago was charged on Tuesday with 19 criminal counts, including attempted murder.

Grant Acord, who according to court documents compared himself to the two attackers who killed 12 fellow students and a teacher and then themselves in the 1999 Columbine attack, was advised of the charges against him during a brief hearing at the Linn County Circuit Court in Corvallis, Oregon.

Acord, 17, was arrested at his mother's home on Thursday after police got a tip that he had made a bomb and planned to detonate it at West Albany High School, some 70 miles (112 km) southwest of Portland.

A search of the residence in North Albany turned up six home-made explosive devices, including pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails and napalm bombs, under the floorboards of Acord's bedroom, authorities say.

Acord was not brought into the packed courtroom but appeared via closed-circuit television from a juvenile detention facility.

He spoke only a few words, in response to questions from the judge about his understanding of the proceedings, and at the request of a court-appointed defense attorney did not enter a plea. He was ordered back to court on June 4.

In their search of Acord's home, police also discovered diagrams of his high school, which they say led them to believe he was planning a Columbine-style attack.

 

'SHOOT AND THROW BOMBS'

According to affidavits filed with the charging documents, police seized journals and notebooks from Acord's home in which he compared himself to the Columbine attackers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and which "contained written and typed plans including diagrams to commit 'mass murder' at West Albany High School."

Also found was a list of supplies to bring, which included a "black trench coat, black tactical backpack and medium black duffel bag."

Police said they found a document, titled "The (Loosely Stated) 'Plan' AKA Worse case Scenario," in which Acord allegedly describes how he would carry out the attack.

"Get gear out of trunk. Carry Duffle in one hand, napalm firebomb in the other, walk towards school with 'airport stak' blasting out of car. Drop duffle. Light and throw napalm, unzip bag and begin firing. Cooly state: 'The Russian grim reaper is here' (bad boys 2)," the plan says in part.

"If 3d exit is blocked by napalm fire, or is locked, run to 1st entrance. In either entrance, throw a smoke bomb prior to walking in. Proceed to enter the school, then shoot and throw bombs throughout the school. Kill myself before S.W.A.T. engages me," the plan says.

Earlier on Tuesday, Acord's mother, Marianne Fox, said in a statement through her attorney, Alan Lanker, that her son suffered from a rare form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

"My heart goes out to everyone affected by Grant's struggle with PANDAS, a rare form of OCD," Fox said. "I grieve for my son, but understand and support the efforts of law enforcement to keep our beloved community safe.

"This is a challenging and confusing time for everyone who knows Grant," she said. "I will have no further comment while I wait with the rest of you to see what unfolds."

Lanker said that Acord's parents were divorced and that the boy lived primarily with his mother.

PANDAS, or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus, is caused by an immune reaction to strep, and the symptoms are similar to those of childhood obsessive compulsive disorder and tic disorders, according to the website of the International OCD Foundation.

Acord was charged with one count of aggravated attempted murder, six counts of unlawful manufacture of a destructive device, six counts of unlawful possession of a destructive device and six counts of unlawful use of a weapon. Under Oregon law he will be tried as an adult.