The Teen Who Wanted Retribution

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.


Robin Lyons, author websiteBLOG POST #223: This week, I’m sharing research on a true-crime involving a recent high school graduate.

The 19-year-old was in a bad place, mentally. He’d overdosed on prescription drugs and was receiving treatment when he talked about his desire to “shoot up” his high school.

During his treatment, he shared he’d been bullied and wanted retribution. 

While in a psychiatric ward, he’d also spoke about his intentions to inflict harm at the school. The staff reported their concerns that his plans may be credible to the local authorities.

The FBI joined the investigation and was quoted to have said the young man had chilling, detailed plans and diagrams—all from memory. Notebooks confiscated from his home revealed copious notes on how and when the shooting would go down.

His planned attack was to be on the 20th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting.

When he walked out of the treatment facility, the local authorities arrested him on charges of criminal attempt to commit terrorism. As the evidence mounted, he held firm on his innocence—later pleading guilty.

At the sentencing, the judge said, “It’s my judgment, these are serious issues that require the court to take serious action.”

The judge sentenced the former student to seven years in state prison with credit for time served.

His father went on record, saying he believed his son would have committed suicide before hurting others as he had already attempted suicide.

  • If you or anyone you know may be considering suicide, please call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255).
  • If you or anyone you know has made mention of a possible school threat, please call (anonymously) Crimestoppers Safe School Hotline at (877) 903-STOP (7867). They also have an easy to use app for iPhones and androids.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading and for caring a children!


Source: The Daytona Beach New Journal, Log Cabin Democrat. THV 11 CBS affiliate

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