Ala. Teen Accused of Plotting to Bomb Classmates
An Alabama teenager who called himself a white supremacist is accused of plotting to attack classmates and a teacher with small homemade explosives, though his attorney argues the allegations are blown out of proportion and the teen never intended to hurt anyone.
Derek Shrout, 17, is charged with attempted assault after authorities say he planned to use homemade explosives to attack fellow students at Russell County High School in eastern Alabama.
Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor told The Associated Press he believed the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary was a factor because the first date in the boy’s journal describing the plan was Dec. 17 - three days after the Connecticut killings, where a gunman killed 20 young children and six adults.
Taylor said the boy told investigators he’s a white supremacist and five of the six students he named in his journal are black. The journal was found by a teacher, who turned it over to authorities.
His attorney, Jeremy Armstrong, declined to discuss specifics of the case, but he did say the publicity around the case so far was "blown a little out of proportion."
"Our position is that our client had no intention to harm anybody," he said.
A search of Shrout’s home found several small tobacco cans and two large cans, all with holes drilled in them and containing pellets. Taylor said all they needed were black powder and fuses to become explosives. The journal also allegedly mentioned using firearms. The sheriff said Shrout’s father owned a few household weapons, like a hunting rifle, a shotgun and a handgun.
"He just talks about some students, he specifically named six students and one faculty member and he talked about weapons and the amounts of ammunition for each weapon that he would use if he attacked the school," Taylor said.