(WASECA, Minn.) — A Minnesota high school student is facing attempted murder and explosives charges after devices were found at a school playground in March.
Police in the town of Waseca said a witness reported suspicious activity Tuesday at a storage space connected to 17-year-old John David LaDue. An investigation based on the tip eventually led to the teen’s arrest.
“This case is a classic example of citizens doing the right thing, and calling the police when things seem out of place,” said Waseca Police Captain Kris Markeson. “By doing the right thing, unimaginable tragedy has been prevented.”
LaDue told police he was going to set off explosive devices in schools, according to the Waseca County News. His plan involved killing his family, then starting a fire outside of town to distract officials before using the devices and shooting students at the local high school.
School officials claim teachers tried to reach out to the student prior to the discovery of the plot, but attempts failed.
“We tried to do everything we possibly could do to build relationships with him as well, but sometimes even when you’re doing everything possible, it doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to,” said Superintendent Thomas Lee.
Lee added that such situations should be seen as warning signs, calling them “canaries in the mines.”
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