A teenager and self-described whiteÂ supremacist made journal entries about a plot to bomb classmates three daysÂ after the Sandy Hook school massacre and began building homemade explosives, aÂ sheriff said.
Derek Shrout, 17, isÂ charged with attemptedÂ assault after authorities say he planned to bomb fellow students at RussellÂ County HighÂ School in Alabama.
Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said onÂ Monday that he believed the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary was a factorÂ because the first date in the boy’s journal describing the plan was December 17Â – three days after the Connecticut killings.
Sheriff Taylor said the boy toldÂ investigators that he is a white supremacist and five of the six students heÂ named in his journal are black. The journal was found by a teacher, who turnedÂ it over to authorities.
A search of Shrout’s home found several smallÂ tobacco cans and two large cans, all with holes drilled in them and containingÂ pellets, according to authorities.
Taylor said all they needed were black powderÂ and fuses to become explosives. The journal also allegedly mentioned usingÂ firearms. The sheriff said Shrout’s father owned a few household weapons, suchÂ as a hunting rifle, a shotgun and a handgun.
The sheriff said: ‘He just talks about someÂ students, he specifically named six students and one faculty member and heÂ talked about weapons and the amounts of ammunition for each weapon that he wouldÂ use if he attacked the school.’
The sheriff said he didn’t believe the teen’sÂ initial claim that the journal was a work of fiction.
‘When you go to his house and you startÂ finding the actual devices that he talked about being made, no, it’s not fiction anymore,’ Taylor said.
‘Those devices were – all they neededÂ wasÂ the black powder and the fuse – he had put a lot of time and thought intoÂ that.’
The teen, who is thin and wears glasses, saidÂ little during an initial court appearance on Monday. District Judge DavidÂ Johnson set bond at $75,000 before the teen’s family posted bond on Monday nightÂ and he was released.
The judge ordered Shrout not to contactÂ anyone at his school, students or teachers, and not to use the Internet withoutÂ parental supervision. He also must wear an ankle monitoring device.
His attorney, Jeremy Armstrong, declined toÂ discuss specifics of the case, but he did say that the talk of the case he hasÂ heard so far was ‘blown a little out of proportion’.
‘Our position is that our client had noÂ intention to harm anybody,’ he said.
Some of Shrout’s classmates confirmed hisÂ interest in white supremacy. David Kelly, the senior class president, toldÂ WTVM-TV that he was Shrout’s battalion commander in JROTC.
‘At first through JROTC, he was confident,Â well-rounded, but as time went by, he was doing the whole white power thing,’Â Kelly told the station.