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Entries in Columbine High School (3)

Sunday
May262013

Oregon HS Student Accused of Attempted Murder in Alleged Bomb Plot

ABC News(BENTON COUNTY, Ore.) -- A student at West Albany High School in Benton County, Ore. will be charged with attempted aggravated murder after authorities say he planned a bomb attack on his school, prosecutors said Saturday.

Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson says the suspect, 17-year-old Grant Acord, had amassed a stockpile of explosives with the intention of attacking his high school, including pipe bombs, home-made napalm and Molotov cocktails.

Documents found alongside the explosives in a secret compartment underneath the floor in Acord’s room indicate that he specifically modeled the planned attack after the 1999 Columbine massacre. The Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, had planned to use explosives during their attack, but the bombs did not work properly.

Acord’s plot was uncovered thanks to a call to 911 that tipped off police before the attack could take place.

Haroldson says Acord will be charged as an adult with attempted aggravated murder. “The charge of attempted aggravated murder requires that we prove that a substantial step was taken toward the completion of the crime,” he said.  

"This is beyond a kid playing with a couple of cherry bombs. It was serious enough to warrant calling out the bomb squad," Albany police Capt. Eric Carter told ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland.

"This went above and beyond teenage curiosity," he said.

No bombs were found in or around West Albany High School.

“I will be a little on edge,” said Dennis Riley, who attends West Albany High School. “I mean this whole thing is so scary, I mean, because of the potential that it could've had if somebody didn't come forward.”

Authorities do not have a motive for the planned attack at this time.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr202012

Columbine Anniversary: Student Film Aims to Help Still-Suffering Victims

MARK LEFFINGWELL/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thirteen years ago on Friday, Sam Granillo, a Littleton, Colo., high school junior, was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in his school's cafeteria when two students unleashed a deadly attack that would go down in history as one of the country’s most horrific murder sprees.

Granillo and 17 others were trapped in Columbine High School's cafeteria for about three hours until a SWAT team arrived and rescued them.  By the time the April 20, 1999 attack was over, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had murdered 12 students and a teacher, and killed themselves.

Today, Granillo is a film school graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He's 30 years old and works on commercials, films and television shows like Rescue Renovation and American Idol.

Despite the passage of time since the Columbine attacks, Granillo says he is still haunted by nightmares, panic attacks and depression.  Many of his former fellow classmates, he found, are suffering similar symptoms but are finding affordable mental health services hard to come by.  He says some of his friends have gone into deep debt paying for counseling.

So now, on the 13th anniversary of the shooting, Granillo is putting his filmmaking skills to work, producing and directing the first documentary about Columbine by a student who was actually there.

“I started thinking about what I needed to do to create this documentary to raise awareness that we need help,” he said.

Granillo isn’t exactly sure yet what form that help should take -- perhaps a foundation or organization that offers free counseling for anyone suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

Making the film, Granillo says, is also part of a journey to help Columbine survivors talk about their experiences.  He’s hoping to take advantage of a “thaw” he senses among some Columbine students who have rarely -- if ever -- spoken publicly about that day.  Some are now opening up to him for the first time.

Granillo says he’s already started recording interviews and has put together short trailers.  So far he’s raised less than $20,000 of the $250,000 he needs to complete the project.  One major expense: travel.  Many former Columbine students no longer live in Colorado, or even the United States.

Another expense is animators.  Rather than using the much-repeated Columbine footage shot from TV news helicopters, Granillo says he’s making a stylistic choice to rely heavily on animation to depict the events of April 20, 1999.

“There’s no reason to show the violent images,” he said.  ”The biggest thing about this is moving forward.  And everything in the past needs to be animated because it gives that feeling that it’s real, but you can’t touch it anymore.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb142012

Mom Claims Teen in Columbine Hammer Attack Was Bullied

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LITTLETON, Colo.) -- The mother of a 14-year-old girl accused of assault after allegedly attacking two other students with a hammer said Tuesday that her daughter was the victim of bullying.

The girl’s mother, identified by KDVR-TV only as Liza, told the station that bullying recently had her daughter looking at herself in the mirror and crying. The girl recently asked her, “Mom, do you think I’m ugly?” Liza told the station.

“I’m upset about the fact that they claim that there’s a no-tolerance bully policy, when that’s a big Littleton lie,” the teen’s mother told KDVR.

Although the attack is still under investigation, the public information diector at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Jacki Kelly, said that there had been no evidence of the accused student being bullied at the school.

The accused teen, a freshman at the school, had recently enrolled at Columbine from another high school.

The attack happened on Monday morning, when police say the 14-year-old allegedly pulled a hammer and struck a 15-year-old female student. She also allegedly hit a 16-year-old male student who came to his friend’s aid.

Aaron Flowers, the 16-year-old student, told KDVR that prior to the attack the accused teenager threatened to beat him and his friend with a bat.

“[We were] like how are you going to get a bat at Columbine?” Flowers told the station.

Flowers said that he was struck in the hands and the ribs, while the 15-year-old student was struck on her hand. Both students were taken to a hospital for treatment and later released.

The 14-year-old student was arrested and charged with first-degree assault. She is currently being held at a juvenile facility.

According to police, one of the school resource officers from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was able to reach the teenagers within a minute of the incident and stop the attack.

“Whenever something like this happens we do a thorough investigation,” said Lynn Setzer, director of communications at the Jefferson County Public Schools.  "If things need to be changed we change them. We’re always looking to keep our kids safe.”

In 1999 Columbine, located in Littleton, Colo., was the site of the then=worst school shooting in U.S. history, when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shot and killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves in the school’s library.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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