Home / National News / Oregon Teen Alerted Authorities in Alleged School Bomb Plot


(PORTLAND, Ore.) — An Oregon teen, who told his mother that a classmate could be planning an attack at their high school, said the tipping point came when he simply worried about being “safe and secure” in school.

Truman Templeton, a 17-year-old junior, made what he called the “nervous” decision to speak up because of Grant Acord’s increasingly frightening behavior at West Albany High School. Templeton says Acord bragged that he could make bombs and brought a copy of The Anarchists Cookbook to school. Templeton wasn’t sure if it was all a joke, but he didn’t take any chances, telling his mother, who told a friend in law enforcement.

“The tipping point for me when I was just worried about being in school,” Templeton told ABC News affiliate KATU-TV. “OK, school is supposed to be a safe and secure environment. I should not have to worry about this kind of stuff.”

Acord, 17, appeared in court Tuesday and faces charges including attempted aggravated murder, manufacture and possession of a destructive device and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to use against another person. Acord was charged as an adult and he has not entered a plea.

Acord was arrested last Thursday and police said they found six homemade explosive devices — including pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails and Draino bombs — hidden in a compartment beneath the boy’s bedroom floor. Authorities seized detailed plans and a timeline “specifically modeled after the Columbine shootings” from Acord’s home, according to charging documents filed Wednesday.

The high school junior planned to blare music before entering the school with a napalm firebomb in his hand and open fire while saying, “The Russian grim reaper is here,” according to the documents, which were released Tuesday.

“When I saw video of bomb squads and people in hazmat suits putting evidence in these bags and dumping chemicals, I realized this was a serious operation,” Templeton said. “If I hadn’t come forward with the information I had, this could have been a lot worse.”

West Albany High School Principal Susie Orsborn says Templeton saved the entire school from a potential tragedy and is a hero for his actions.

“Absolutely. And I know that all the student body and staff feel the exact same way,” Orsborn said.

At least one other student told KATU Acord was talking about bombs and bomb-making materials in the weeks before the arrest. For Templeton, it was never an option to stay quiet.

“I’d much rather report something like this than leave it alone,” Templeton said. “All I can say is what story would you want to see on the news? One person being arrested or dozens of kids dying because of a disaster that could have been prevented?”

“My hope is people will follow my lead, be more open about this stuff. Report it sooner,” he added.

Acord is being held on a $2 million bail.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


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