Third Person Arrested in Foiled Wisconsin School Plot

Police have arrested a third person in a foiled Columbine-style plan to bomb and shoot students at a high school, investigators said Saturday.

Two 17-year-olds were arrested Thursday at East High School after a student went to an associate principal. A detective said Friday that one boy wanted to enact the plan Thursday but the other talked him out of it.

Bradley P. Netwel, 18, was arrested Friday for conspiracy to commit homicide and conspiracy to commit arson, according to a police department news release Saturday.

Police learned from interviews that Netwel, a former student at the school and a friend of the 17-year-olds, participated in the planning, police said.

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William C. Cornell and Shawn R. Sturtz were arrested Thursday for suspicion of conspiracy to commit first-degree intentional homicide and conspiracy to commit arson. Brown County District Attorney John Zakowski said he planned to file charges on Thursday.

Court Commissioner Jane Sequin ordered Cornell and Sturtz jailed on $500,000 bond Friday, and the three were being held in the Brown County Jail. Netwel was scheduled to make an initial court appearance Monday.

East High School Principal Ed Dorff said Saturday he was not surprised at the third arrest.

"I don't know how much deeper this goes," he said. "We knew there was contact with others. We didn't know the level of contact."

Police Detective Tom Molitor testified at a hearing Friday that the 17-year-olds, who are seniors, told police that they had been plotting the massacre for several years.

They planned to set off bombs near bathrooms, light exits on fire with jelled gasoline so no one could escape and shoot people they had problems with, Molitor said.

Police found nine rifles and shotguns, a handgun, about 20 "crudely made" explosive devices, camouflage clothing, gas masks, two-way radios and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at Cornell's house, Police Capt. Lisa Sterr said. She said Cornell had made several of the improvised explosive devices about two months ago.

At Sturtz's home, police found knives and ammunition, Sterr said.

Police said they also found mannequin heads that appeared to have been used for target practice, and suicide notes.

No dangerous materials were found at the school, Sterr said.

Tiffany Brittain, 18, said Saturday that she hung out with Sturtz and Cornell and that she heard them talking about suicide and attacking the school.

"I thought they were joking. I never took it seriously," she said.

The two teens had long been fascinated by the April 1999 Columbine massacre in Littleton, Colo., in which two students armed with guns, knives and bombs killed 12 classmates and a teacher before killing themselves, Sterr said.

In Montreal on Wednesday, an attacker killed a student at Dawson College and wounded 20 others before killing himself. Kimveer Gill, 25, had dressed in a black trench coat like the Columbine shooters, posted online photos of himself with weapons and said he liked to play an Internet role game about the Columbine killings.