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Minnesota teen detailed school attack plans in police interview

John David LaDue
John David LaDue

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - A southern Minnesota teen accused of planning an attack at his high school described to police in detail his plans to kill his family and set a fire to distract first responders before detonating explosives at his school in Waseca.

John David LaDue, 17, told investigators in late April he planned to attack the school sometime before the end of the school year and believed he was mentally ill, audio recordings of the interviews released by the Minnesota courts on Tuesday showed.

LaDue told investigators he planned to set off a pressure cooker bomb in the hallway at the high school, similar to the ones used in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, and would set off a second bomb as people fled. Then he would continue the attack, he said.

"My plans were to enter and throw Molotov cocktails and pipe bombs and destroy everyone and when the SWAT comes, I would destroy myself," LaDue said in an April 29 interview.

LaDue was charged as a juvenile with attempted murder, damage to property and bomb possession by someone under age 18. Prosecutors are seeking to charge him as an adult.

A public defender representing LaDue could not be reached immediately for comment.

LaDue told investigators he had never been bullied and his family had done nothing wrong, but he wanted as many victims as possible.

"I have good parents, I live in a good town," LaDue said. "I think I'm just really mentally ill and no one has noticed and I have been trying to hide it."

LaDue said he would like to see a psychiatrist and wanted to get out of Waseca, about 65 miles (105 km) south of Minneapolis.

"I wanted to like get taken down by the SWAT just to show that I wasn't a wimp and not willing to fight with equal force," LaDue said.

Police said LaDue's plans were thwarted when a person called authorities after seeing a suspicious-looking person carry a backpack into a storage unit and close the door behind him.

Police said in a criminal complaint LaDue idolized a gunman from a Colorado school shooting and they recovered bomb-making materials, firearms and ammunition in searches of the locker and his family's house.

(Reporting by David Bailey, editing by G Crosse)

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