ALBANY, Ore. – The 17-year-old West Albany High School student accused of planning to bomb his school approached some of his classmates to talk about making bombs in the weeks before his arrest.
Grant Acord will face charges of attempted aggravated murder, manufacture and possession of a destructive device and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to use against another person. He will be charged as an adult, the Benton County District Attorney said.
West Albany High School student Thomas Stone said Acord approached him in class two weeks ago and began talking about bomb-making materials.
“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,” Stone said. “Like, he was describing how to make one, which thinking back should have brought up more suspicion.”
Acord was taken into custody on Thursday at his mother’s Albany home after police received a tip that the high school junior had built a device and targeted his school. Students told KATU they don't know who tipped off police, but they consider that person a hero.
“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?”
In a news conference on Saturday, 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.
Police found pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, napalm bombs and and explosives made from drain cleaner in a secret compartment under the floor of Acord’s bedroom at his mother’s house, Haroldson said. They also found check lists and a diagram of the school.
Student Keagan Boggs said he heard Acord had approached some of his friends talking about bombs.
“It wasn’t like ‘Oh, I’m making bombs, I’m gonna blow stuff up,’” Boggs said. “It was just talking about it, like something that you wouldn’t really think like ‘Oh, he’s gonna blow something up. Like a school.’”
Haroldson said Acord picked a date for the bombing, but he wouldn’t reveal when that was because it’s part of the investigation. The school was swept twice as a precaution, but nothing suspicious was found, Haroldson said. School will resume as scheduled on Tuesday, the same day Acord is set to appear in court to face his charges.
“I was just, like, shocked and like even more thankful we are all still alive,” said Boggs. “Because he could have, he had plans, like he could have done it any day. He obviously was ready. He was just waiting for the right moment.”