ALBANY, Ore. (KOIN) — The 17-year-old West Albany High School student arrested after explosives were found in his mother’s home was inspired to blow up his school by the Columbine shootings, the Benton County District Attorney said Saturday.
“All my friends go there,” one Albany teen told KOIN 6 News. “And if the bombs were to go off, my friends could have been in danger — and it’s just heartbreaking.”
Grant Acord faces attempted aggravated murder charges in the case and will be tried as an adult.
Benton County DA John Haroldson said investigators found six bombs under the floorboard in a secret compartment in his bedroom inside his mother’s home. Included were pipe bombs, a napalm bomb, a Drano bomb and Molotov cocktails. Investigators said they found a plan of attack, complete with maps of West Albany High School and diagrams.
A search of West Albany High School turned up no additional explosives.
“This is a case where a person possessed several different types of bombs as part of a larger plan to carry out a deadly assault against the occupants of West Albany High School,” Haroldson said. “This was a determined plot, had he been able to carry it out.”
He said many of the explosives were made with household products, and investigators found “a plan, diagrams, maps of the school, weapons, explosives, checklists.”
The community of West Albany remained on edge Sunday night — three days after investigators say they first discovered the teenager’s plot to blow up his high school.
“There’s a lot of things you can find out on the Internet, but to actually want to do it and go through with it is messed up and hard to hear,” said Brit Boydston, a West Albany High graduate. “When you think of it, it’s just like ‘Did this really happen in Albany?'”
A friend told KOIN 6 News the teen’s parents were divorced. “I think he had a hard situation at home,” he said. “And definitely [a hard time] at school — I don’t think he had the most friends.”
Acord, described as quiet and a loner by other students, will officially be arraigned Tuesday. But even with Acord in jail until the arraignment, some are still uneasy.
“We do not feel safe in this neighborhood anymore,” said West Albany resident Loren Kessler. “It is selfish of him to do that, to take the learning environment away from other people.”
Since this story broke, people have turned to Twitter to show solidarity by using the hashtag #WAstrong. Some of the tweeters said they’re students who just can’t believe something like this could have happened at their school.
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