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Waseca Police: Teenager was planning murderous attack on his school

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Authorities in Waseca are crediting a tip from a citizen for preventing what could have been a murderous rampage by a teenage boy.

17-year-old John LaDue was charged Thursday with four counts of attempted murder and a half-dozen explosive related charges for an alleged plot to kill his family and fellow students at Waseca High School.

The criminal complaint indicates LaDue told investigators he planned to murder his family and then set a fire in a rural area near Waseca to create a diversion that would draw the attention law enforcement officers and afford him the opportunity to attack the school. The teen said he planned to kill the high school liaison officer and students by setting off bombs during a lunch period and then kill himself by engaging in a gun battle with police.

Waseca Police described his plans as detailed, and it appears he was preparing to carry out the attacks in a matter of weeks.

Waseca School District Superintendent Tom Lee addressed reporters Thursday afternoon and described LaDue as a good student who was a “little quiet.” Lee noted LaDue had not been in any trouble at school and there was nothing to indicate he had been bullied. He thanked the citizen who provided Waseca police with the tip that led to the teen’s arrest, saying, “God was looking out for all of us.”

The investigation that uncovered the plot began last month when some small homemade explosives were found in the playground at a Waseca Elementary School. Officials say those devices were used for experiments as LaDue prepared to proceed with his plot.

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