School Massacre Narrowly Avoided by Alert Citizens

A fairly normal--even innocent looking--young man who liked music...was he thinking of murdering his classmates even in this photo? (from his Facebook profile)

A fairly normal–even innocent looking–young man who liked music…was he thinking of murdering his classmates even in this photo? (from his Facebook profile)

Not something frequently heard nowadays: high school shooting uncovered before it could happen. In Waseca, a small town in Minnesota, 17-year-old John D. Ladue was allegedly planning an all-out attack on his high school.  He has been charged with attempted murder and many counts of illegal weapons possession.

Authorities found Ladue’s journal which stated his entire plan. The journal also showed how Ladue revered  Columbine killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris and how he wanted to top their “success,” with multiple references.

Ladue’s alleged plan was to first kill his parents. Second was to start a fire in a rural area outside of town to distract first responders. And third was to supposedly shoot up and bomb the school.

Chelsie Schellhas called the police saying that she saw a boy carrying a bookbag behind her house, seeming like he didn’t want to be seen.  She called police as the boy seemed suspicious, as if he might be breaking into the storage facility near her house.  Once inside, it took him awhile at the storage unit to get it open so she thought he was trying to break in.

Officers were quickly at the scene. According to the New York Daily News, the storage unit contained ammunition boxes, explosive chemicals, a pressure-cooker, steel ball bearings and gunpowder, police said.

After the storage unit search, the cops  moved on to Ladue’s house. Inside the teen’s house were three completed bombs, an SKS assault rifle, a Beretta 9mm handgun, hundreds of rounds of ammo and a safe with several other guns.

There’s no doubt Schellhas and the police ought to be thanked for their swift action. They may just have saved hundreds of lives.

Ladue remains locked up in a juvenile facility while prosecutors decide whether to charge him as an adult–and of course a mental health screening.  Neighbors and classmates who know Ladue had almost nothing bad to say about him; to most he apparently seemed like a normal kid.  Where and when he decided to slaughter people is anyone’s guess, at this point.