Prosecutor: Teen Wanted to ‘Top’ Columbine
By Ben Brumfield, Jake Carpenter and AnneClaire Stapleton
(CNN) — Sniffer dogs will search an Oregon high school for explosives before students return from the Memorial Day weekend, because one of their classmates was planning to attack them with bombs, police said.
The 1999 shooting spree at Colorado’s Columbine High School served as Grant Acord’s benchmark and inspiration, Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson said. But the prosecutor said the teen wanted to top Columbine in a planned attack at West Albany High School.
With the help of explosive devices, checklists and diagrams, Acord’s “goal was to model the Columbine shootings with some adjustments that would make it a greater success,” Haroldson said.
The prosecutor said police found six types of explosives in the 17-year-old’s possession after they arrested him Thursday night at his mother’s house in Albany, Oregon.
They recovered napalm, pipe and drain cleaner bombs, as well as Molotov cocktails Friday from “a secret compartment that had been created in the floorboards” of the teen’s bedroom, Haroldson said.
Albany police became suspicious after they “received information that associated … Acord with manufacturing a destructive device with the intent of detonating it at a school.”
West Albany High School’s principal, Susie Orsborn, sent a note to students’ parents, asking them to urge their children to come forward and speak with police if they knew anything about the plan.
Acord, a juvenile, will be charged “as an adult with attempted aggravated murder,” Haroldson said. He will also face bomb-making charges and “unlawful possession of a deadly weapon with intent to use against another person.”
He is scheduled to appear in court for the first time Tuesday.
CNN is attempting to reach Acord’s attorney for comment. A woman who answered the door at the house believed to belong to Acord’s mother told CNN affiliate KATU that she has no comment.
Albany police searched the school twice — the first time on the night they arrested Acord.
But state police want to conduct a more thorough search with dogs before students return to class.