Authorities: Student planned to bomb school

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Students arriving Monday at a small South Carolina high school faced newly installed metal detectors and extra security after a student was arrested in what authorities said was a plan to carry out a Columbine-inspired attack.

Bomb-sniffing dogs checked the hallways and classrooms at Chesterfield High School, authorities said. Metal detectors were borrowed from a courthouse, and police met students at the doors as they arrived.

The alleged plotter, Ryan Schallenberger, 18, was due in court Monday afternoon for a bond hearing. He was arrested Saturday after his parents called police because 10 pounds of ammonium nitrate were delivered to their home in Chesterfield. Police also said they discovered a disturbing journal.

"He seemed to hate the world. He hated people different from him - the rich boys with good-looking girlfriends," said the town's police chief, Randall Lear.

Schallenberger was one of the top students at the high school of about 580 students and had not caused any serious problems before his arrest, principal Scott Radkin said.

The school's Web site lists Schallenberger as a member of the 2007 academic bowl squad. He won an academic award from Newberry College in the last school year.

The teen was in the Chesterfield County jail Sunday night, charged with possessing materials to make bombs, the police chief said. Other than the bomb-making material, no other weapons were found at his home, Lear said.

Schallenberger kept a journal for more than a year that detailed his plans for a suicide attack and included maps of the school, police said. The writings did not include a specific time for the attack or the intended targets.

The teen planned to make several bombs and had all the supplies needed to kill dozens, depending on where the devices were placed and whether they included shrapnel, Lear said. Ammonium nitrate was used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that killed 168 people.

Schallenberger also left an audio tape that was to be played after he died explaining why he wanted to bomb his school, authorities said. Lear wouldn't detail what was on the tape except to say Schallenberger was an angry young man.

Lear said Schallenberger did not have an attorney. His parents could not immediately be located by The Associated Press.

In his writings, Schallenberger said he admired the two teens who killed 13 people at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 before committing suicide, Lear said. The attack happened nine years ago Sunday, but Lear said investigators do not know whether there was any link between the anniversary and Schallenberger's plans.

Chesterfield is a town of about 1,500 people in northeastern South Carolina near the North Carolina line.

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On the Net:

Chesterfield High School: http://www.chesterfield.k12.sc.us/Chesterfield%20High/chesterfieldhigh.html


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