CHESTERFIELD -- A teenager in a small South Carolina town planned to conduct a Columbine-inspired attack this week, the ninth anniversary of the Colorado school shootings, authorities said Sunday.
The parents of 18-year-old Ryan Schallenberger became concerned after 10 pounds of ammonium nitrate were delivered to their house Saturday, authorities said. They then found a lengthy journal with maps and details of a planned attack the teen called "Columbine III." That's when they called police.
The senior at Chesterfield High School, about 65 miles southeast of Rock Hill, was arrested and jailed, charged with making bomb threats. Authorities say more charges could come today.
Officers believe Schallenberger planned to act alone -- all the journal entries and descriptions of plans are written with singular pronouns.
"He seemed to hate the world. He hated people different from him -- the rich, boys with good-looking girlfriends," Lear said.
Police found bomb-making materials in the Schallenberger family's home Saturday evening, Chesterfield Police Chief Randall Lear said. They also confiscated the journal and an audiotape they said Schallenberger planned to leave behind after the attack. Lear wouldn't say what was on the tape, but said he believes his department intercepted a serious threat.
"There's no doubt about it that he planned to go off," Lear said. "He had everything he needed to do what he said he was going to do. From all indications, he had no plans of coming out of it alive."
His parents could not be reached for comment.
Officers and bomb-sniffing dogs searched the Schallenberger's property until sundown on Saturday, and the State Law Enforcement Division used a helicopter to fly over the area, looking for anything suspicious. Officers called off the search when it got dark and started again Sunday morning.
By Sunday night, they hadn't discovered any guns or other weapons that belonged to Schallenberger or anything else they considered suspect.
In his writings, Lear said Schallenberger wrote that he admired the two teens who killed 12 students and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, Lear said.
Investigators interviewed friends and casual acquaintances of the teen, sending tremors through the town of 1,500 on Sunday, the nine-year anniversary of Columbine.
"People are rattled," Lear said, adding that fear was amplified because Schallenberger's actions never hinted at something like this. "We never had a problem with him, as far as I know. He never even had any school discipline. He didn't wear black clothing."
As a precaution, officers took bomb-sniffing dogs through Chesterfield High School on Saturday. Principal Scott Radkin, who wouldn't discuss Schallenberger's disciplinary record, said Sunday night that he had communicated with the 60 members of his staff and the school district was making an automated phone call to parents.
The school will have extra police officers on duty this morning. The 500-plus students who attend the school will have to pass through metal detectors.
"I think we'll go through tomorrow fine," Radkin said Sunday. "We're having school tomorrow. We feel confident that there's nothing in the school."