(RTTNews) – Police in the United States said Wednesday that they have arrested a 17-year-old expelled high-school student in connection with a suspected plot to detonate an explosive device at his former school in the city of Tampa, Florida.
Police accuse Jared Cano of planning to plant a “potentially catastrophic” bomb at the Freedom High School, from which he had been expelled, and detonate it when the students returned on the first day of school scheduled for next Tuesday.
Police chief June Castor told reporters at a press conference that Cano expected to kill or injure more people than the 1999 shooting spree by two students in which one teacher and twelve students were killed at Columbine High School in Colorado.
According to Castor, police have recovered bomb making materials, including fuses, timers, shrapnel, accelerant and plastic tubing as well as drawings of the room inside the school, from Cano’s home. He added that Castor was arrested after an unnamed individual “came forth with information” about the plot.
“It’s someone who had information and they felt strongly enough to call the Tampa Police Department,” Castor said. “That’s what we need in this community, to have the citizens involved in keeping this community safe.”
Meanwhile, Freedom High School Principal Chris Farkas said Cano had been expelled from the school in April 2010 because of a non-school-related incident and would have been “red flagged” as soon as he entered the campus.
“Once I found out and saw the information and saw what was taken from the apartment complex, that was when the reality and the fear set in that this was a real situation,” Farkas said.
Police said Cano had been arrested previously on several occasions on charges of burglary, drug possession and weapons offenses. He currently faces charges of threatening to throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device as well as possession of bomb-making materials and marijuana.