Oregon Student Planned Columbine-Style Attack

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 26 2013 11:13 AM

Oregon High School Student Planned to Carry Out Columbine-Style Attack

West_Albany_High_School_Oregon
A 17-year-old allegedly had a plan to blow up West Albany High School, located around 75 miles south of Portland

Photo by Aboutmovies/Wikimedia Commons

A 17-year-old in Oregon had planned to bomb his high school in an attack that was “specifically modeled” after Columbine, prosecutors said. In fact, Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson noted that Grant Acord had every plan to top the 1999 Colorado attack, reports CNN. Officials found explosive devices and diagrams that showed how Acord’s “goal was to model the Columbine shootings with some adjustments that would make it a greater success," Haroldson said.

Acord hid at least six bombs—including pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, napalm bobs, and explosives made from drain cleaner—along with other bomb-making material, under the floor of his bedroom. He was arrested Thursday and will be charged as an adult for attempted aggravated murder, according to ABC News. "The charge of attempted aggravated murder requires that we prove that a substantial step was taken toward the completion of the crime," the prosecutor said. "In this case, we would be relying upon evidence of plan. Diagrams, checklists, a plan to use explosive devices and firearms to carry out a plan specifically modeled after the Columbine shootings."

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State police have already searched West Albany High School twice for bombs but will send sniffer dogs again over Memorial Day weekend to make sure there’s nothing there before kids return Tuesday.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.