Students at an Oregon high school were in shock today, after learning that a classmate they described as "happy" and "nice" is accused of plotting to blow them up with bombs he'd allegedly built and hid in his bedroom.
Grant Acord, 17, a junior at West Albany High School, was arrested late Thursday at his home on two counts of possession of a destructive device and two counts of manufacture of a destructive device, according to the Albany Police Department.
But prosecutors say he will be charged as an adult with aggravated murder and is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Benton County Circuit Court.
Acord's classmates said they did not see him as the kind of person who would plot an attack "specifically modeled" after the Columbine shooting, as Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson said the teen allegedly did.
"I'd say 'hi' to him in the hallway, cause I was kind of ... was like, 'Well, I should probably talk to this kid ... make sure he feels OK,'" West Albany student Dennis Reilly said. "So, I'd talk to him sometimes and he seems like a pretty nice guy."
Holly Koltvedt, another West Albany student, also said she saw no signs that Acord might have been upset about anything.
"I talked to him earlier, nothing was wrong," she said. "He was happy."
According to Haroldson, the explosives police allegedly found hidden in a secret compartment under the floor of his bedroom included pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, napalm bombs and explosives made from drain cleaner.
The school was allegedly chosen because it was a "target-rich environment," the district attorney said.
"I can't say enough about how lucky we are that there was an intervention," the district attorney said. "When I look at the evidence in the case, I shudder to think of what could have happened here."
He would not say when the teen allegedly planned to carry out the attack.
West Albany junior Keagan Boggs said the whole thing has him in a state of disbelief.
"Well, I'm just shocked because, like, you hear about it at other schools and like other places around the world, but you never really think it's going to happen," Boggs said.
Police were alerted to the case by a tip from a 911 caller that Acord had made a bomb, planned to blow up his high school and asked friends to film the incident when it happened, officials said.
"I will be a little on edge," Reilly said. "I mean this whole thing is so scary I mean because of the potential value that it could've had if somebody didn't come forward."