Teen charged with attempted murder after planting bomb at St. George School

Mar 26, 2018, 9:25 PM | Updated: 10:32 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A teenager from Southern Utah has been formally charged with four different crimes after police say he took a backpack of explosives to school.

Monday he was charged with attempted murder, use of weapon of mass destruction, graffiti, and abuse of a flag.

KSL has chosen not to name the minor involved in the case at this time. Court documents state the 16-year-old Pine View High School student was charged in Washington County 5th District Juvenile Court with two first-degree felonies, after police say he made an improvised explosive device, using a soup can, and attempted to detonate it in the school, prompting an evacuation.

The charging documents state officials used surveillance video to trace the teen’s movements on March 5, 2018, as he arrived at the school carrying two backpacks. After getting up from a lunch table at 11:42 a.m., cameras captured his movements as he went into the school’s main hallway, walked a circle, and then deposited one of the bags near a vending machine. He then “opened the backpack, lit the fuse and walked away from it,” court documents state.

Shortly after, several students alerted teachers and a school resource officer about the backpack, seeing “dark gray smoke and a strong odor coming from the backpack for 30 to 60 seconds,” according to the charges.

The school resource officer looked inside the backpack, then “removed it from the school” and alerted a bomb squad,” the charges state. The school was evacuated and the backpack destroyed.

When asked by police after his arrest if he had been trying to hurt anyone, the teen allegedly replied, “If someone got hurt, I probably wouldn’t care.” The teen also told police, “I would have been fine with it,” if some of his classmates had been killed, according to the charges.

The teen was also charged Monday with graffiti, a class A misdemeanor, and a class B misdemeanor for abuse of a flag, accusing the teen of cutting up an American flag at Hurricane High School last month, where he is accused of replacing it on a flag pole with a homemade ISIS flag. He is also accused of spray painting “ISIS is comi–” on a wall at the school.

KSL will continue to follow the developments of this story.

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Teen charged with attempted murder after planting bomb at St. George School