Oregon school plot allegedly inspired by Columbine, ‘Bad Boys II’
It was the “worst-case scenario,” according to notes recovered by police in western Oregon.
In that plan, according to newly revealed court documents, Grant Acord wrote that he was going to go to his first-period class at West Albany High School, duck out to the parking lot, throw a firebomb and then “cooly state” a line from the movie “Bad Boys II” right before the carnage began: “The Russian Grim Reaper is here.”
But Acord, 17, was arrested before carrying out any such plan at the 1,400-student school.
Charged as an adult, he was arraigned in Benton County, Ore., Tuesday on 21 counts of attempted murder, attempted arson and possession of illegal weapons after police said they discovered a secret cache of pipe bombs, Drano bombs and Molotov cocktails at his Albany home. He didn’t enter a plea. Bail was set at $2 million.
The cache, which police said they discovered hidden in the floor of Acord’s bedroom beneath a cut-away section of carpet, included notes on the massacre he was allegedly planning for his high school.
The “worst-case scenario” involved throwing firebombs and smoke bombs while shooting his way through the school, and he made notes on different entrances to use if one was blocked by fire, according to a court filing.
Acord reportedly talked with his classmates about making bombs in the weeks before his arrest Thursday.
At least two elements of the plans were influenced by two cultural touchstones, one real and one fictional.
It’s unclear what Acord’s fascination was with “Bad Boys II,” a 2003 Will Smith-Martin Lawrence action-comedy blockbuster about international drug smuggling in Miami, a buddy movie sometimes more prone to satire than serious reflection.
In one scene, a Russian gangster utters the line when walking into a rival’s drug mansion and shooting a guard.
Police said Acord’s other obvious influence was Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two high school students behind the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. Harris and Klebold killed 12 students and a teacher before turning their weapons on themselves.
Acord sought out clothes and weapons used by “Eric and Dylan,” including a black trench coat and a Hi-Point 995 rifle, according to the probable cause affidavit filed by an Albany Police Department detective.
A handwritten “I NEED” list allegedly included a Mossberg 500 shotgun, ammo and more bomb-making materials.
In the “worst-case scenario” quoted in the police affidavit -- the only one of the “multiple” plans and diagrams of the school quoted in the filing -- Acord allegedly wrote out his plan like a terse errand list.
“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,” the plan allegedly said.
After quoting “Bad Boys II,” police said, Acord planned to make his way inside.
“Proceed to enter the school, then shoot and throw bombs through the school,” Acord allegedly wrote, concluding, “Kill myself before SWAT engages me.”
Acord’s mother, Marianne Fox, said in a statement issued to the news media through her attorney that her son suffers from a rare form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, known as PANDAS, or pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcus.
“I grieve for my son, but understand and support the efforts of law enforcement to keep our beloved community safe,” Fox’s statement said.
[Updated, 7:04 p.m. May 28: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that Acord is being charged as an adult.]
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