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.”