Students Wanted To Copy Columbine

Tuesday, February 6th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HOYT, Kan. (AP) — Three students who allegedly styled themselves after the Columbine killers were charged Monday with planning an attack on their northeastern Kansas high school.

Police searched two homes after another student told school officials the three were making bombs. Authorities found bomb-making materials, floor plans of the school, a modified assault rifle, ammunition and white supremacist drawings, police said.

They also found three black trench coats similar to those worn by the Columbine High School gunmen, the Topeka Capital Journal reported. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people in the April 1999 attack on the Colorado high school before shooting themselves.

Charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated arson were Richard Bradley, Jr., 18; Jason Moss, 17; and James Lopez, 16. Lopez was also charged with aggravated intimidation of a witness or victim.

It was unclear whether the homes searched were those of the suspects. The three were in police custody Monday, and their parents could not be located for comment.

Detective Steven Rupert of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said the suspects had discussed the Columbine attack and planned a similar attack on Royal Valley High School in May, possibly at a dance.

The students had allegedly made bombs with sparklers, pipe bombs with fertilizer, and ``relatively harmless'' dry ice bombs, Rupert said.

Deputies found a bobcat skull with swastikas drawn on it, a Confederate battle flag and ``white power'' written on some items, but Rupert said the plot did not appear to be racially motivated.

A preliminary hearing for Bradley was scheduled for Feb. 15, and his bond was set at $10,000. The two juveniles — Moss and Lopez — were scheduled to appear at a March 1 hearing. Jackson County District Attorney Douglas Fisher said the minors may be tried as adults.