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Police say Minn. teen had plan to kill family and stage school massacre

During a May 1 press conference, police in Waseca, Minn. say that a 17-year-old boy there planned to carry out the kind of carnage destined to go down in the history books and rival Columbine and Sandy Hook. John David LaDue had a plan to “kill his family, start a diversionary fire, set off bombs at an area school, kill the resource officer there and then shoot students.”

Police say the arsenal of guns and bomb-making materials stored by the 17-year-old was ‘disturbing.’   Facebook via
John David LaDue / Facebook via

CNN reported that the plan was real, and that LaDue had the resources at his disposal to make his plan a reality. Fortunately for all innocent parties, a concerned citizen had the good sense to contact the local authorities and report “someone acting suspiciously at a storage facility.” Police in Waseca identified the concerned citizen as Chelsie Shellhas, who had a major hand in foiling LaDue’s plan.

Police say when they arrived at the storage facility to check out Shellhas’ complaint, they discovered a storage shed containing “what looked like bomb-making materials in a locker: a pressure cooker, pyrotechnic chemicals, steel ball bearings and gunpowder.” Police took LaDue, who was still at the storage facility when they arrived on the scene, along with them to the station for questioning and an eventual arrest. While at the police station:

… police say, he told authorities of his plan to kill his mother, father and sister and start a fire in rural Waseca to distract first responders. Then, they say, he said he wanted to go to Waseca Junior and Senior High School, where he planned to set off various bombs during lunch, kill the school resource officer, set fires and then open fire on students.

The Waseca police also found LaDue’s journal inside his home. The journal provided specific details regarding LaDue’s planned attack, an attack police believe would have been carried out “in the next week or two.”

USA Today reported that LaDue was charged with four counts of attempted first-degree murder, six counts of possessing explosive devices and two counts of first-degree criminal damage to property. All of those charges are connected to the planned murders of his family members, the school liaison officer, and the killings of “as many students as he could.”

Waseca Police Capt. Kris Markeson said on Thursday that he believes LaDue to be the only suspect in the planned attack and that the teen “would have succeeded if he had not been caught.” Markeson said that LaDue’s arsenal of guns and materials of destruction was “disturbing.”

Currently, Ladue is being held in juvenile custody. He’s scheduled to make a court appearance on May 12. For more on the story, see the video accompanying this article.

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