Right Of The Star

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Could Illinois' Student McGuivers Have Prevented Red Lake?

A week ago Blogger ate a posting I had ready on this story from the Rockford Register Star - It seems that in Oregon, IL (15 min's from my hometown) 3 teens made some homemade "McGuiver" bombs and set them off around their school - while the school was in session!

I didn't have the time or energy to rewrite this, but with all of the info now coming out about the kid in Red Lake, MN I thought it was important to get this out there!

Go to Michelle Malkin and see the grotesque picture, cartoon, blog, and postings done by this loone
Captains Quarters

The common thread here is that there were clear signs in these cases that you would think this many years after Columbine our society would be aware enough to see!

But I guess not, which is why I am posing this entire Register Star story!

'We probably could have avoided this'
By MELISSA WESTPHAL, Rockford Register Star
>> Click here for more about Melissa

OREGON -- Students throughout Oregon High School heard rumors that bombs were being made, but no one came forward with the information before it was too late, police say.

Three Oregon High School students are in custody today as officials piece together how two homemade bombs exploded midmorning Wednesday outside the school, sending 600 students across the street while police and bomb squads descended on the campus.

No one was hurt and nothing appeared damaged, but investigators found a large pipe bomb in a second-floor storage room and a backpack full of pipes in a locker.

Police said two of the three teens arrested were caught running through the school after the "MacGyver" bombs -- so called because they're made from common household goods, such as cleaning chemicals and plastic liter soda bottles, that the TV character of the same name would have used -- exploded.

Police say the third student explained how to make the bombs.

All three students were held overnight at Mary Davis Detention Home in Galesburg on charges of possessing explosive devices. They will appear before an Ogle County judge today.

At a news conference Wednesday night, police, school and city officials talked about the missed opportunities. Some students, when interviewed by authorities, said they had heard about the bombs but didn't report the information to teachers or others in authority.

(Ed. - are these kids complete idiots?)

"Unfortunately we could have probably avoided this today," Detective Lt. Darin DeHaan said.

Hours after the incident, students and parents were left wondering about a motive. Classes are to resume today as the investigation continues.

"A lot of us think they did it just to get attention," Oregon freshman Tia Kressin said Wednesday afternoon. "This is a small town, and you really never expect that something's actually going to happen."

'All freaking out'

Authorities believe the two bombs were chucked out a window at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday near the school's southwest corner.

The bombs exploded outside, spattering chemicals on the ground. A guidance counselor nabbed two male students as they ran from the scene and held them until police arrived.

An intercom announcement told the nearly 600 students to evacuate the building and head out across Jefferson Street to the nearby Jefferson Elementary School for temporary shelter. Some students were in class. Others were eating lunch.

Junior Jerica Crawford, 16, and senior James Burke, 17, said the explosions sounded like gunshots. Burke was changing clothes after gym class and had to leave the building wearing shorts. He didn't get to eat lunch.

Classes continued for elementary students while high school students were split between the Jefferson and Etnyre School gymnasiums. The high schoolers stayed until about 2 p.m. when they were dismissed for the day.

Students and staff members had to leave their cars, so buses were rerouted to provide rides home. Freshman Kristine Bull, 14, hopped off a bus and bombarded her mom with questions about the incident.

Bull and at least 15 other students had left the school early Wednesday for a student council field trip. She said students received numerous text messages on their cell phones from friends after the explosions.

"We were all freaking out, trying to get a hold of people," she said.

'A scary thing'

School administrators sent explanation letters home with students. Superintendent Todd Prusator praised students and staff for evacuating the high school safely.

Before the explosions, Oregon police had released information about a burglary that occurred at the high school Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. They found signs of forced entry and discovered that cash and other items were taken.

DeHaan did not know whether the break-in and bombs were related.

The Winnebago County Bomb Squad safely detonated the pipe bomb. Police from the state, Rochelle, Dixon, Byron and Northern Illinois University pitched in extra help.

Numerous students said they knew the alleged culprits. One described them as underclassmen, others said one was a Boy Scout and another was a good student.

Parents, like Kathy Bull, listened as their kids recalled details about the incidents.

"My first thought was 'thank goodness she wasn't there,'" Bull said of Kristine. "It's a scary thing the way something like this can happen."

Dawn Reints of Mount Morris sat in her vehicle with Crawford, Burke and her nephew, 8-year-old Steven Howard. She had listened to the radio earlier in the day to learn more about the explosions.

"There's no way not to be scared," she said.

Contact: mwestpha@rrstar.com; 815-987-1352

Emphasis added! Scary, our eyes are closed to what the teen across the country are doing! If we learned to be observant enough to catch these little McGuivers we might catch those mass murdering Red Lakers who broadcast their plans to the world like this guy's cartoon!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am the "then junior" James Burke mentioned in the article. I simply want to clear this up to anyone who may still be reading this. I have been horribly misquoted in this article. There was actually no explosions that I EVER heard, yet alone did I ever describe them as "gunshot sounds". additionally, i never mentioned anything about "not getting lunch", I was simply annoyed that I was unable to finish changing my clothes...