WASECA, Minn. (WCCO) — Julia Speck would often hear her 17-year-old neighbor, John David LaDue, throwing knives and axes at a tree in the front yard.

“I just felt unease, since … we are outside all the time,” she said.

The mother of two was even more troubled Friday, after hearing what the teenager had been planning.

“He was going to kill his family, and then kill as many people as possible,” Speck said. “And we are always outside. So, what if we were killed?”

LaDue plotted to kill his parents and sister, and then detonate pressure-cooker bombs inside Waseca Senior High School after killing the liaison officer, police say. The teen then planned to kill as many students as he could with the guns he’d stockpiled for months.

LaDue idolized the killers at Columbine, and wanted to top what they’d done in 1999, police say.

“I was worried about my grandkids,” said Marsha White, a Waseca resident who has two grandchildren that go to district schools.

One of her grandkids goes to Hartley Elementary School, where police say they found LaDue’s practice bombs in March.

Like many Waseca residents, White is thankful that Chelsie Shellhas alerted officials to the teen’s suspicious behavior at a mini storage facility.

That’s where police arrested LaDue on Tuesday, after finding him inside with bomb-making materials.

“I think the school is pretty much safe,” White said. “But you can never tell when some disturbed individual is going to show up.”

On Friday, prosecutors filed a motion to have the 17-year-old charged as an adult.

A community prayer service is slated to be held in town Friday night.


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