MIAMI: Police in Tampa, Florida, have arrested a 17-year-old youth accused on plotting a bombing attack at his former high school, aiming to top the death toll of the 1999 Columbine massacre, officials said Wednesday.
The youth “mentioned his desire to cause more casualties than were suffered at Columbine,” Tampa Police chief Jane Castor said in announcing the arrest Tuesday of Jared Kano.
“We had officers find material in his room that could be used for making explosive devices... the material that they found included fuel sources, shrapnel, plastic tubing, timing and fusing devices within his room.”
No firearms were found in his room but he had been arrested before on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, Castor said.
She said the plot was aimed to disrupt the first day of classes next week at Tampa Freedom High School, Kano's former school.
She said the arrest took place after an unnamed individual “came forth with information” about the plot.
“That's what we need in this community, to have the citizens involved in keeping this community safe. And that was a prime example of allowing us to avoid a very serious event yesterday,” she added.
Police Major John Newman said Kano had a prior juvenile arrest record including burglary and firearm charges, and that officers had been monitoring him on that basis.
“He was on some sanctions that required us to do juvenile checks,” Newman said.
“So we've been very, very familiar with him.”The arrest was the latest to evoke the 1999 killing spree at Columbine High School in Colorado in which 13 people were killed and 23 hurt.