Bomb plot targeting Tampa school foiled, police say
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An expelled student has been arrested in connection with a plan to blow up his school in Tampa, Fla., on the first day of class, authorities said Wednesday.
In televised comments, Police Chief Jane Castor identified the suspect as Jared Cano, 17, who had planned to place an explosive device at Freedom High School in Hillsborough County.
“We were able to foil a potentially catastrophic event the likes of which the city of Tampa has never seen,” Castor said at a news conference.
The police chief said that authorities had received a tip from an unidentified source about the suspect and raided his home on Tuesday.
Police recovered explosive materials and what was described as a manifesto detailing a step-by-step attack plan on targets at the school, Castor said. The suspect had hoped to kill approximately 30 students and two administrators, she added.
Cano, who appeared in court Wednesday morning, faces felony charges of possessing bomb-making materials; cultivating marijuana; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of marijuana; and threatening to throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device, according to police.
He had recently been expelled from the school, where classes are scheduled to resume next week.
-- Michael Muskal