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Teen accused of school plot: "I'm just really mentally ill"

MINNEAPOLIS - Recordings of a police interview with John LaDue, the 17-year-old suspect in an alleged plot against his school and family, reveal the teen considered himself to be mentally ill, was fascinated by tragedies, and wanted to kill as many people as possible in his hometown of Waseca, according to CBS Minnesota.

LaDue has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder charges for planning to bomb his school and kill his family.

LaDue was charged in May with attempted murder, possessing explosives, and attempting to damage property. Police said his planned attack was foiled when a woman spotted him acting suspicious around a storage locker and called the authorities. Officers searched the locker and the suspect's room, finding guns, bomb-making equipment and a 180-page notebook detailing plans to mimic a Columbine-style massacre, the station reports.

"My plans were to enter [the school] and throw Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs and destroy everyone, and then when the SWAT comes I would destroy myself," LaDue told police in the interview released Tuesday, and which was recorded soon after he was arrested in April.

CBS Minnesota reports prosecutors are seeking to try him as an adult.

In the recordings, LaDue talks about a YouTube channel on which he uploaded videos of himself detonating homemade bombs. He also told police the violence he planned to carry out against students and family wasn't personal, but rather a result of what he believes to be mental illness.

"I don't even think I've been bullied in my life," the suspect said. "I have good parents, I live in a good town, I think I'm just really mentally ill and no one's noticed and I've been trying to hide it.... I just wanted as many victims as possible."

Authorities said LaDue's plan was to kill his family first, then start a fire in town to divert first-responders, according to the station. Then, he allegedly planned to set off bombs at his school and start firing on classmates. Finally, he said he wanted to battle a SWAT team to prove he "wasn't a wimp" and was "willing to fight with equal force." The plot was supposed to go down on April 19.

"I wanted it to be in April, because April's my favorite month," he told police, "because that's... the month that all the really bad tragedies happen."

The massacre at Columbine High School occurred on April 20, 1999.

LaDue told officers in the recording that he might be a sociopath and asked to see a psychiatrist. In his statement, he also said he had contemplated giving cyanide to a friend of a friend who had gotten on his nerves.

The suspect's attorney is trying to get the charges against his client dropped because nothing actually happened, according to CBS Minnesota. Last week, LaDue's father said his son never really planned to go through with the attack and that the family needs to deal with the teen's issues.

  • Crimesider Staff

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