Columbine Birthday: South Australian High School Massacre Plot


Two young Southern Australians are facing up to 12 years in prison for threatening to kill their colleagues and teachers in a Columbine-style mass shooting at their school.

The boys, aged 17 to 20, were arrested in November 2017 after making threats to attack a school in Riverland, in the southeastern state, using a combination of homemade explosives, firearms and handguns .

But lawyers representing the boys argued that they had no intention of pursuing their threats, saying it was just a "dark fantasy" invented to deal with bullying and trauma.

The convictions were made before the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, which the South Australian Supreme Court said the boys were obsessed with.


In November 2017, police thwarted what they called the two's plan to massacre students and staff at their Riverland school.

They claimed that the boys, 18 and 16 at the time, planned to attack the school using a combination of weapons, knives and homemade explosives.

It was alleged that the duo intended to block the school's exits with homemade and napalm bombs, then use firearms and other weapons to commit mass murder.

They have been accused of plotting the attack since June of that year.

The young boy was arrested on November 7, 2017, after police searched his home, where they found forbidden weapons, homemade armor and materials that could be used to make bombs. The older boy was arrested the same day.

In March of this year, the two boys pleaded guilty to the smallest charge of a life-threatening threat, with a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison, The Advertiser reported.

On Wednesday, the South Australian Supreme Court heard the boys have an "obsessive interest" in school shootings, including the Columbine massacre and a american horror story episode depicting a massive school shootout.

They were also dressed as school snipers for Halloween, wearing long trench coats when they made their threats.

The court heard that this obsession won the humble nicknames of the eldest boy, but his colleagues never saw him as a serious threat before his arrest.

The head of the school told the court that the incident had devastated the community, leaving parents frightened of the safety of their children and embarrassing officials forced to defend the school's reputation.


One of the two boys who pleaded guilty to plotting the massacre did not intend to do so, the court said on Wednesday.

Bill Boucaut SC, 20, said the boy kept a diary that he fantasized about pursuing the threat of "turning back students who physically and verbally bullied him by his" emo "style.

But he said that his client did not intend to continue with this.

"There has never been an intention to carry out anything," Boucaut said. "This was his mechanism to go back to … a entrenched regime of bullying that he was subjected to in school.

"Yes, there were threats, but yes, this is bad and understandably this will cause significant concerns to the community … but you have to understand that this was not something that should be done."

He described the boy's lifestyle as "different from what you would expect from a teenager in a town inland," noting that he had a troubled family background.

The former student of the school turned to alcohol and cannabis to deal with their suffering, including the bullying they faced from their peers.

media_cameraThe oldest of the two accused of plotting a massacre in high school in South Australia. Image: Facebook

Mr. Boucaut asked the boy to be released immediately, saying, "He, in my presentation, did his time-well and truly."

He also said that the 20-year-old was not involved in attempting to obtain firearms, nor in the manufacture of body armor, homemade napalm or a Molotov cocktail.

These acts, he said, were carried out by the young offender.

Stephen Milsteed, for the 17-year-old, asked that he be released into the community to live with his mother.

He said the young man had a difficult education and related to the older boy about alcohol and cannabis as "mainstream outcasts."

He admitted that the defendant had built "raw" armor and armor, but said that none of these activities were linked to threats against students and that "there was no intention of killing or injuring anyone."

Milsteed said there is evidence that his client had made knives and armor as a hobby since the age of 14, and that guns were just an extension of his "hobby."

He also claimed that the napalm found in the boy's house was not made to cause damage.

"He discovered that napalm is ideal for forging steel because of the intense heat it generates and the long period of time remains flammable," he said.

"It was in this context that he made napalm, not for the purpose of causing harm to anyone."

He also said that his client intended to light the Molotov cocktail as part of the Halloween celebrations while intoxicated.

While he admitted that the couple tried to acquire firearms, he said that his client only did so to "pose on social media" and "prove that they were people to be taken into account," rather than using them to commit murders.

The boys will be sentenced on May 23.

Originally published as "Massacre of Columbine-obsessed children"


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