Alabama Teen’s Planned Bomb Plot Against School Was a Hate Crime
(NEW YORK) — A 17-year-old, self-proclaimed white supremacist will be arraigned on Monday in what police say was a plot to attack fellow students at his high school in Russell County, Ala., with homemade explosive devices.
Derek Shrout was arrested last Friday after a teacher at Russell County High School found what appears to be the teen’s journal and contacted authorities. Police said the journal contained plans to kill six students and one teacher with homemade grenades. Six of the seven individuals were black.
In the journal, police say that Shrout thought the white male on his list was gay.
“That’s the reason the white male was on the list. It screams hate crime,” Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said.
Investigators say Shrout started writing in his journal just three days after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.
“The journal contained several plans that looked like potential terrorist attacks and attacks of violence and danger on the school,” Taylor said.
Shrout told police that the journal was a work of fiction.
“I didn’t think anything like that could happen in Russell County. I thought maybe that’s just something that happens everywhere else,” said student Qunitin Hobbs.
Shrout told police that he rarely interacted with the people he’s accused of targeting. Police say Shrout learned how to make the devices on the Internet.
A search of Shrout’s home turned up dozens of empty tobacco containers filled with shrapnel. The containers had holes in them ready for fuses to ignite. He hadn’t obtained gunpowder, fuses or a substance to ignite the devices.
“He could have got the whole school, just got all of us at once,” said student Javon Rogers.
Shrout is expected to plead not guilty in his court appearance later Monday. The teen is being charged as an adult with attempted assault.
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