UPDATE: Waseca police say teen’s arrest prevented tragedy

UPDATE:

WASECA, MN – What can only be described as a planned massacre is avoided in southern Minnesota.

A 17-year-old is under arrest. He is charged with the attempted murder of his family members, and planning to set off explosives and kill classmates.

They’re the latest developments in what started in March with the discovery of explosive devices on the grounds of Hartley Elementary.

Police say that was John LaDue’s practice run, and his true plans were much more devastating.

It was in a storage unit just three days ago that police found bomb making materials but, if it weren’t for one person reporting suspicious activity we would have a whole different story.

“The types of items that he was preparing, he intended to do a great amount of harm,” says Waseca Police Captain Kris Markeson.

Waseca authorities say John LaDue had a family and school massacre very much planned out, until he was stopped thanks to one phone call.

It was from Chelsie Shellhas, who was doing dishes Tuesday night when she saw a suspicious person walking into her next door storage facility. “He shut the door and normally we see people come here and it doesn’t take them 10 minutes to open a storage shed, so I called it in,” says Shellhas.

Police say they found him inside with explosives and bomb making materials. They then searched the LaDue residence. There, they say they found numerous guns, ammunition, prepared bombs and paperwork documenting his plans. “My personal opinion is that I am very disturbed by the amount of items he had,” says Markeson.

But what exactly was he planning to do with them? According to investigators, LaDue revealed that his plan included killing his family members, starting a fire in rural Waseca as a distraction, then proceeding to bomb and shoot students at the Waseca Junior/Senior High School.

“Really, just the amount of preparation and thought he had put in this; it’s very, very complete,” adds Markeson.

Kristin Fuller is a parent of two Hartley Elementary students. She heard the news on her way to work. She says she never imagined this happening in her small town.

“I think it’s safe to say we all have that same sick feeling,” says Superintendent Tom Lee. “One thing is for sure, everyone is very grateful for the citizen with the watchful eye. I think there’s, you know we’re grateful that someone called in,” says Fuller.

Authorities say after interviewing LaDue they believe he acted alone.

A juvenile petition states he is 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.

The investigation is on-going.

PREVIOUS:

WASECA, Minn. (AP) — Authorities in the southern Minnesota city of Waseca say they prevented an unimaginable tragedy by foiling a teenager’s plot to bomb its junior and senior high school.

Police arrested a 17-year-old suspect Tuesday and charged him Thursday with attempted murder and possessing explosive devices.

According to The Free Press of Mankato (http://bit.ly/1iIqjQS ), Capt. Kris Markeson of the Waseca Police Department told reporters that authorities believe the youth was acting alone. He says he believes the teen would have succeeded if he had not been caught.

A visibly shaken Markeson said he was disturbed by the amount of guns and other material the youth obtained. He said he can’t divulge if specific students were targeted.

The investigation began after three small explosive devices were discovered at a playground in late March.

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Information from: The Free Press, http://www.mankatofreepress.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

FROM EARLIER:

WASECA, Minn. (AP) — Authorities have filed attempted murder and explosives charges against a Waseca teenager.

The Free Press of Mankato reports (http://bit.ly/1iDQ3nt ) the 17-year-old boy was arrested as the result of an investigation into three small explosive devices discovered at a school playground in late March.

The youth was charged in juvenile court Thursday with four counts of attempted first-degree murder, six counts of possessing explosive devices and two counts of first-degree criminal damage to property. The juvenile petition alleges he obtained weapons and explosives with the intent to kill his father, mother, sister and a school liaison officer.

He was arrested Tuesday night after the Waseca Police Department and Bloomington Bomb Squad executed search warrants at a home and a storage facility in Waseca.

Police and school officials plan a news conference.

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Information from: The Free Press, http://www.mankatofreepress.com

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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