Published January 07, 2013
SEALE, Ala. – An eastern Alabama high school student faces an attempted assault charge after authorities say he planned to use homemade explosives in a terrorist attack on fellow students at his school.
Derek Shrout, a 17-year-old student at Russell County High School in Seale, appeared in court Monday afternoon at a hearing. A judge has set Shrout's bond at $75,000.
Shrout was apprehended after a journal was found by a teacher and turned over to authorities, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said.
"The journal contained several plans that looked like potential terrorist attacks, and attacks of violence and danger on the school," Taylor told WTVM-TV. "And in particular, there were six students specifically named, and one teacher."
Taylor said he believes the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary was a factor because the first date in the boy's journal describing the plan was Dec. 17: three days after the Connecticut killings.
Taylor added that the boy told investigators that he's a white supremacist and five of the six students he named in his journal are black.
A search of Shrout's home found several small tobacco cans and two large cans, all with holes drilled in them and containing pellets, Taylor told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
The devices were just "a step or two away from being ready to explode," the sheriff said.
Taylor praised the efforts of school officials and others.
"The system worked and thank God, it did," he said. "We avoided a very bad situation."
Seale is about 80 miles east of Montgomery.