A 17-year-old Malcolm, Neb., high school student who classmates said liked to talk about bombs and who allegedly planned to bring explosives and a rifle into the school Tuesday has been arrested, says the Omaha World-Herald. Joshua Magee was charged with attempted first-degree murder, use of a weapon to commit a felony, and using explosives to commit a felony.
Malcolm students were told Magee had informed authorities that he hoped three friends would escape unharmed from the school but that “he would take out as many (others) as he could,” said Malcolm Superintendent Gene Neddenriep. “He indicated verbally to police several times that his intent was to hurt people, many people. And he had the firepower to do it,” Neddenriep said. “We were close, closer than what we’d like to be.”
Sheriff’s officials said gasoline cans and propane bottles with crude fuses were found in Magee’s car. Magee allegedly planned to cause a “lockdown,” then detonate the bombs in the school, using the rifle as a “last resort” against law enforcement. The charging document said Magee suffered from bipolar disorder, a mental disease characterized by manic and depressive episodes, and was not on his medication.
Magee, dressed in a black trench coat and camouflage pants and with blue hair, told school administrators that he planned to use weapons in the school, a K-12 facility with about 450 students. The incident led to the lockdown of the school about 15 miles west of Lincoln. Classmates and the superintendent said Magee loved to talk about firearms, chemicals and explosives, and to search the Internet. He had picked up a gun and cocked it at a recent career day.