Here's a scary story out of Russell County, Alabama.
Seventeen-year-old Derek Shrout was arrested on Friday for plotting to kill six of his fellow students and one teacher with homemade explosives. The plan was thwarted when a teacher found his journal, which described the plot in detail and named all of the targets. Six of the seven targeted individuals were black, and the other was believed by Shrout to be gay. From ABC News:
Police said the journal contained plans to kill six students and one teacher with homemade grenades. Six of the seven individuals were black.
In the journal, police say that Shrout thought the white male on his list was gay.
"That's the reason the white male was on the list. It screams hate crime," Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said.
Investigators say Shrout started writing in his journal just three days after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.
"The journal contained several plans that looked like potential terrorist attacks and attacks of violence and danger on the school," Taylor said.
Shrout, who is a self-proclaimed white supremacist, maintains that the journal is a work of fiction. That doesn't explain why authorities found empty tobacco containers filled with shrapnel in his home.
Here is the WTVM television report:
“[Shrout] has a lot of pent up anger towards blacks,” [Russell County Sheriff Heath] Taylor told the [Columbus Ledger-Enquirer]. Authorities didn’t immediately disclose if the suspect had ties to specific white supremacist groups or how and when he adopted his racist beliefs.Thank God Shrout was reckless enough to leave his journal where the teacher could find it. That teacher quite possibly stopped another school massacre and mass hate crime against African-American and gay teens (and also the targeted teacher).
The sheriff told Hatewatch that FBI agents are now involved in the investigation and could recommend that the case be handled as a federal hate crime. That, however, is considered unlikely because the suspect is a juvenile. Alabama doesn’t have a specific hate crime law, only enhancements for those convicted of felonies with racial motivation.
The explosive devices the teenager is accused of building were just “a step or two away from being ready to explode” and would have caused serious damage or injuries, the sheriff said.
What a nightmare we avoided this time around.
Shrout is expected to plead not guilty. Here's hoping justice is served in this case.
UPDATE: H/T to Christian Dem in NC...Shrout made his first appearance in court and is currently out on $75,000 bond. Yes, the white supremacist who planned a mass murder of African Americans and gays is currently out of jail.