Attempted murder charge in bomb plot; motive unclear

2013-05-25T18:38:00Z 2014-01-03T16:46:03Z Attempted murder charge in bomb plot; motive unclearBy Canda Fuqua, Corvallis Gazette-Times Albany Democrat Herald

Explosive devices found under floorboards of student's bedroom; plan ‘modeled after Columbine’ attack

A 911 call that tipped off police that a 17-year-old West Albany High School student was planning to blow up his school may have prevented a mass murder, according to Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson.

Haroldson spoke Saturday at a press conference at the Benton County Courthouse. Suspect Grant Alan Acord is a Benton County resident living in North Albany. West Albany High is in Linn County.

Albany police found six homemade bombs hidden under the floorboards of Acord’s bedroom at his mother’s residence in North Albany after his arrest on Thursday.

Investigators also seized a detailed plan, checklists, a diagram of his school and a date in which he allegedly planned to carry out a mass murder using bombs and gunfire that was “specifically modeled after Columbine,” Haroldson said, referring the 1999 school shooting in Littleton, Colo., that left 13 dead and 21 wounded.

“This is a case of a planned assault on a target-rich environment and that target-rich environment is the West Albany High School,” Haroldson added.

Investigators also searched the residence of Acord’s father, who also lives in North Albany. Pipe bombs, napalm bombs, Drano bombs and Molotov cocktails were discovered, Haroldson said.

No explosives were found at the school after extensive searches, he added.

Acord is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Benton County Circuit Court as an adult. He will face one count of aggravated attempted murder and six counts each of manufacturing a destructive device, possession of a destructive device and possession of a weapon with intent to use it against another person.

The investigation so far has not identified a clear motive, Haroldson said, such as being angry at a particular classmate or teacher.

Acord’s alleged plans revealed “inspirations and a focus of recreating a model of Columbine with some adjustments that would make it more successful,” Haroldson said.

Two Columbine High School students carried out an attack at their school using bombs and firearms.

Responding to questions about Acord’s mental condition, Haroldson replied, “Anytime you have a mass killing that is being planned or carried out by a youth, that is something that is looked into.”



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(5) Comments

  1. Fleinhardt271
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    Fleinhardt271 - May 26, 2013 9:38 pm
    As others have expressed on this article and related, I wish we all could give our thanks to the person who called this in to authorities. He/she potentially saved the life of my little sister and many more young men and women. It chills me to read the depth of planning that was done. Praise God for the caller and for the Albany Police Department.
  2. shanie79
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    shanie79 - May 26, 2013 9:08 am
    Thank you to whomever saved this community from such heartbreak and terror. Albany is my hometown and I graduated from West Albany, It's scary that something like this could happen in any town, any where. My prayers are with the family in this difficult time and hope that this boy gets the help that he needs and there are some answers as to why he would plan to do this.
  3. JFrasieur
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    JFrasieur - May 26, 2013 8:54 am
    We should all count ourselves lucky that someone have the courage to call this in. This could have been much worse. I think that all of the law enforcement involved should be given a big thank you. They received a tip and acted accordingly. Great job Albany Police Department!
  4. phleboo
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    phleboo - May 25, 2013 11:59 pm
    Wish I could adequately express my thanks to the person who saved this community from unspeakable heartache!! Hopefully this hero knows the depth of our gratitude!!
  5. figman
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    figman - May 25, 2013 11:01 pm
    So thankful for the person who let authorities know and the swift action by everyone involved. Prayers go out to the family of this boy and hoping he gets the help he needs. I think I will go hug my kids. :)
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