(UPI) — One day before a South Florida high school shooting left 17 dead and more than a dozen injured, police in Washington thwarted what they said could’ve been another massacre.
The grandmother of a high school student in Everett, Wash., called police Tuesday after finding disturbing journal entries at her home, according to court records.
Joshua Alexander O’Connor, 18, had purchased grenades, hid a military-style rifle in a guitar case and carried out an armed robbery to help fund his plot to kill his classmates, police said. He was arrested after an officer pulled him out of class from ACES High School and was charged with attempted murder, felony assault on an officer and robbery.
Part of the teen’s journal included excerpts about flipping a coin to choose if he would target Kamiak High School or his school, an alternative school he transferred to in October, according to court documents. His school won the toss.
“I’m preparing myself for the school shooting,” O’Connor had written in the journal. “I can’t wait. My aim has gotten much more accurate … I can’t wait to walk into that class and blow all those (expletives) away.”
The teen also wrote that he wanted the death count to be as high as possible so that the shooting would be infamous, according to court documents.
“I need to make this count,” O’Connor wrote. “I’ve been reviewing many mass shootings/bombings (and attempted bombings) I’m learning from past shooters/bombers mistakes.”
O’Connor was booked into Snohomish County Jail. Police said the teen was carrying marijuana and a knife. A search at the grandmother’s house found a rifle, “military styled inert grenades and other evidentiary items.”
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