ALBANY, Ore. – A West Albany High School student planned to attack students and staff at his school with bombs and guns before killing himself, court documents said.
Grant Acord, 17, appeared in court Tuesday afternoon. His charges include attempted aggravated murder, manufacture and possession of a destructive device and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to use against another person. He was charged as an adult.
Acord did not enter a plea and the judge set his bail at $2 million.
Acord was arrested Thursday night after a fellow student tipped off police about a possible plan to attack the school. Police found two pipe bombs, two Molotov cocktails, and two explosives made from drain cleaner in a secret compartment under the floor of Acord’s bedroom at his mother’s house, according to court documents.
Court documents also say Acord hid notebooks that contained lists of items needed for the attack and detailed plans under the floor of his room.
One of the plans, detailed in the documents, read as follows:
“Leave home with stuff in truck at 7:30. Go to first period. After period wait in parking lot until 10:00 a.m. Drive to smoke pot to gear up. Be back in far parking lot by 11:00. If no school resource officer is there, move to parking lot next to 3rd exit parked backwards at 11:10. Get gear out of trunk. Carry duffle in one hand, napalm firebomb in the other, walk towards school with ‘airport stak’ blasting out of car. Drop duffle. Light and throw napalm, unzip bag and begin firing. Cooly state: ‘The Russian grim reaper is here’ (bad boys 2). If 3rd exit is blocked by napalm fire, or is locked, run to 1st entrance. In either entrance, throw a smoke bomb prior to walking in. Proceed to enter the school, then shoot and throw bombs throughout the school. Kill myself before SWAT engages me.”
Acord planned to make a 20-pound propane bomb, court documents said.
Police searched West Albany High School on Thursday, and again with four bomb-detecting K-9s on Friday. No explosives were found in the school.
In a news conference last weekend, Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson said Acord’s attack plan was patterned after the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999 that left 13 people dead and 21 others wounded. Acord had printouts of web pages that contained information about the weapons and gear used by the Columbine attackers, court documents said.
KATU normally does not name minors who are accused of crimes, but we named Acord in this case because of the severity of the crimes and because he was charged as an adult.
Statement from Grant Acord's mother
On Monday, Acord’s mother, Marianne Fox, released a statement through her attorney, Alan Lanker.
"My heart goes out to everyone affected by Grant's struggle with PANDAS, a rare form of Obsessive-compulsive Disorder. I grieve for my son, but understand and support the efforts of law enforcement to keep our beloved community safe," she said. "This is a challenging and confusing time for everyone who knows Grant. I will have no further comment while I wait with the rest of you to see what unfolds."
PANDAS, or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcus, is caused from the immune system's reaction to strep, according to the International OCD Foundation.
Acord lives primarily with his mother, Lanker said. He said he represents the mother and isn't the teen’s defense attorney. It's not clear yet who will represent the teen.
Over the weekend, several West Albany High School students told KATU that Acord approached them to talk about making bombs in the weeks before his arrest, but he didn’t talk about a plot to bomb the school.
“He was just, just kind of randomly came up to us and started talking about the different materials that you need to make a bomb,” said student Thomas Stone on Sunday. “Like, he was describing how to make one, which thinking back should have brought up more suspicion.”
“You know, I didn’t think much of it ‘cause he’s kind of a strange kid,” Stone said. “So I wasn’t surprised he had some strange hobbies, you know?”
Student Keagan Boggs also said he heard Acord had approached some of his friends talking about bombs, but he hadn’t heard about the alleged plot until after Acord was arrested.
“It wasn’t like ‘Oh, I’m making bombs, I’m gonna blow stuff up,’” Boggs said.
Class back in session
Students returned to classes as scheduled Tuesday morning for the first time since Acord’s arrest. Albany police increased their presence in and around the school. Some students admitted to KATU that they were nervous.
Both students and police said they were very thankful for the person who tipped off police about the alleged attack plan.
“I hope that this will send a message to all the schools in the nation, students and staff alike, please speak up do the right thing,” said West Albany High School Principal Susie Orsborn. “If you have that gut feeling that something is not right, then come forward and share with an adult and get the proper people involved.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.