Authorities arrested a Washington state student suspected in a school shooting plot after his grandmother showed officers plans for an attack.
The grandmother of 18-year-old Joshua Alexander O'Connor discovered his journal on Tuesday morning and found it contained alarming entries pointing to plans to carry out mass shootings at his high school and also found an AR-15 in a guitar case. According to the Seattle Times, the grandmother called 911 and relayed what authorities later described as "upcoming and credible threats" to ACES High School.
Police in Everett said they arrested an 18-year-old man after his grandmother tipped them off to threats made against his school.
Cash from the robbery was supposed to help fund the school shooting, said deputy prosecutor Andrew Alsdorf in court.
O'Connor is being held on charges of attempted murder in the first degree, robbery and assault on an officer, according to online booking records. He planned to achieve this through the use of explosives, by activating inert grenades and constructing pressure-cooker bombs.
Mukilteo School District's Andy Muntz said, "Our main thing right now is gratitude, especially to the grandmother. I can't wait. My aim has gotten much more accurate..." the teen allegedly wrote in his journal.
"I need to make this count", O'Connor reportedly wrote. I've been reviewing many mass shootings/bombings (and attempted bombings).
He also reportedly wrote that he wanted to get "the biggest fatality number I possibly can", CBS reported.
According to reports, O'Connor attended another school, Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, Washington, before transferring to ACES last October. While at the Everett Police south precinct police say the suspect slipped out of a handcuff, broke free from the officer and ran across the parking lot in an attempt to escape.
The report adds that the responding officers then noticed two military-grade grenades in O'Connor's room, after which they left the premises to get a warrant.
However, according to public defender Rachel Forde, the rifle and grenade shells found in O'Connor's possession fell under a legal domain.
The judge found probable cause to keep the case moving, setting a high bail of $5 million. It couldn't have been easy for her to do. Her actions may have saved many lives and underscores the importance that if you see or hear of something suspicious, you need to notify authorities.
A journal entry alone is usually not enough for someone to face attempted murder charges but police say it's all about what the student did in conjunction with the writings. The school district is also very grateful to the Everett Police Department for their fine work in preventing what would have been a major tragedy.