15-year-old detailed plans to shoot up school in his journal: prosecutors

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Michigan (WXMI) -- The 15-year-old suspect charged with plotting to shoot up and bomb Paw Paw High School last month appeared in court for the first time since getting arrested on March 18. The hearing was to determine whether or not he should be tried as an adult or juvenile. His mother hugged him tightly before the proceedings began.

“The original investigation began with his quote-on-quote Bomb Book that was at school,” testified Deputy Trevor Tate with the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office. “I believe it was 6 and 1/2 pages, front and back, of specific details on making different sorts of bombs.”

Deputy Tate said that encounter, on February 22, was his first with the suspect. FOX 17 will not identify him due to his young age. There were no threats made in the book. Deputy Tate  subsequently checked his Facebook page and chats and said he saw nothing worrisome. However, his mother was called and she promptly came to the school. She also gave him permission to go through his personal belongings at home.

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“She allowed me access to his room,” Deputy Tate said. “He didn’t have anything at that time.”

A month later, Deputy Tate returned. He was a part of a search warrant at his home on March 18 and collected evidence that was stated in his Bomb Book.

“At that point there was a lot of ammunition, bomb-making material, sawed off guns,” Deputy Tate testified. “Also journals, specific writings in some journals along with a few other things in his room.”

Deputy Tate read several entries from the suspect's journal, one of which was a Hit List. It contained 27 names including his girlfriend, her friends, President Donald Trump and celebrities like Amy Schumer and Jennifer Anniston.

“This was a recovered from a journal that was located in his closet in his bedroom,” Deputy Tate said. “I spent quite a lot of time reading his handwritten journals that were also found in his bedroom.”

Assistant Prosecutor Susan Zuiderveen said that reading the journals would give the court a better understanding of the seriousness of the crime. She went through the journals prior to the hearing and requested Deputy Tate read them during his testimony.

(Photo via WXMI)

“I hate all of these people,” Deputy Tate read. “They’re all products of a degrading society.”

Many of the entires, which were dated as far back as January 2018, were similar. The suspect wrote statements like “I wanna be free” and “Sooner or later I'll explode and kill everything that comes across me”

In the days leading to his arrest he wrote about wanting to set off bombs in South Haven during the 4th of July festivities and how he killed a cat by drowning it in a river. He also wrote about harming his family but then made the decision not to because he loved them. So he made a to-do list to ensure that they would not be harmed in the attack.

“Take the car keys at 3-ish, make phones die, write suicide note, make molotov cocktails,” said Deputy Tate, reading from the boy’s journal. “ Prevent girls from getting on the bus.”

The prosecution believed theres more than enough evidence to try the suspect as an adult. However the teenager’s defense attorney felt differently, saying that he was a victim of bullying.

“Were you aware uh that it was reported by multiple people that are interviewed that, earlier in the summer time, before school started, that one of the students had taken a picture of Aidan in his underwear and then spread that around on social media,” asked his defense attorney.

Deputy Tate said he was aware of the incident. The defense attorney argued that that was an embarrassing experience for her client.

Due to it's length, the hearing was adjourned to May 2.

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April 20, 1999 - Columbine High School 

Photo Credit: Reuters

Nov. 20, 1999 - Deming Middle School, New Mexico 

(photo by Joe Raedle)

 February 29, 2000 - Buell Elementary School, Michigan 

Photo Credit: Reuters 

May 26, 2000 - Lake Worth Middle School, Florida 

Photo Credit: Reuters 

March 5, 2001 - Santana High School, California 

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake MB/RCS

April 25, 2003 - Red Lion Area Junior High School, Pennsylvania

Photo Credit: Reuters 

September 24, 2003 - Rocori High School, Minnesota 

Photo Credit: Getty 

March 21, 2005. Red Lake High School, Minnesota

REUTERS/John Gress 

November 8, 2005 - Campbell County Comprehensive High School, Tennessee 

Photo Credit: Getty 

 Aug. 24, 2006 - Essex Elementary School, Vermont

 Photo Credit: Getty 

September 29, 2006 - Weston High School, Wisconsin 

(Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

October 2, 2006 - West Nickel Mines School, Pennsylvania 

(Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

January 5, 2011 - Millard South High School, Nebraska 

Photo Credit: Getty

February 27, 2012 - Chardon High School, Ohio

REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk 

December 14, 2012 - Sandy Hook Elementary, Connecticut 

 (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

October 21, 2013 - Sparks Middle School, Nevada. 

(Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images)

December 13, 2013 -  Arapahoe High School, Colorado

REUTERS/Rick Wilking 

June 10, 2014  - Reynolds High School, Oregon

(Photo by Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

October 24, 2014 -  Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Washington


February 12, 2016 - Independence High School, Arizona 

Photo Credit: Getty 

September 28, 2016 - Townville Elementary, South Carolina

(Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

April 10, 2017 - North Park Elementary School, California 

 (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

September 13, 2017 - Freeman High School, Washington

Photo Credit: Getty 

January 23, 2018 - Marshall County High School, Kentucky

REUTERS/Harrison McClary

February 14, 2018 - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


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