HEAT ADVISORY today in Western Washington

Chilling journal: 18-year-old charged with planning ‘mass murder’ at Everett high school

EVERETT, Wash. — Joshua O’Connor, 18, was charged Friday with attempted murder, robbery, and possession of an explosive device in what prosecutors said was a plan, outlined in his journal, to commit “mass murder of as many students as possible” at Aces High School in Everett.

He is being held in lieu of $5 million bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

O’Connor, a student at Aces, was arrested Feb. 13 when his grandmother alerted police to his journal, chilling parts of which were cited in court documents Friday. Authorities credited his grandmother with thwarting what could have been a horrific massacre at the school.

The Snohomish County prosecutor’s office said in court papers that O’Connor “planned to commit a mass murder of as many students as possible at the school he attended. He details these plans in a journal over the course of at least 2 1/2 months, and at the same time developed a fascination with the Columbine shooting.”

The documents said O’Connor “did more than just plan, think and write about this crime; he took at least three actions … toward premeditated mass murder.”

The documents said those included purchase of a Hi-Point 9mm carbine rifle, like one used at Columbine, possessing a homemade CO2 bomb, like those at Columbine, and robbing an AM/PM gas station at gunpoint for money so that he could buy more guns and ammunition “for his school attack.”

On the morning of Feb. 13, O'Connor's grandmother discovered a guitar case in his bedroom that contained a rifle, and also found two inert grenades in his closet. After reading his journal, the grandmother called police. O'Connor was removed from class that day and placed under arrest.

According to court documents, O'Connor wrote in his journal on Jan. 15: "I feel so alone ... I hate my social anxiety and high functioning depression ... I can't wait to blast a shit ton of seniors and maybe some teachers. I hope to get at least one Mukilteo pig. I'd even settle for the Kamiak (High School) resource officer..."

O'Connor had previously attended Kamiak High School before enrolling in Aces High School. He said in his journal that he flipped a coin to choose which school would be the target of his attack -- Aces "won."

According to the court documents, on Jan. 31 he wrote in his journal: "I hate everyone. Murder is running through my mind more than ever. I can't wait to blow some kids up, light some on fire, and shoot peers at point blank. No f------ mercy; I'll stab any that haven't died from my hollow points."

On Feb. 2, he wrote that the Everett Police Department is 1.7 miles form Aces and that "gives me 2-3 min about till the pigs arrive."

And then, in another entry, he outlined his plan: He would wait until after lunch, set a homemade bomb by the gym bleachers, go into a restroom "to gear up" and, as soon as the bomb exploded, "start shooting spree and start music ... mow kids down in hallway and gym" and "after gym is clear, head to cafeteria (unless pigs arrive) and "kill yourself (himself) at the end to Make a Change."

Police said they arrested another student at the school who they believe took part in the AM/PM gas station robbery. He has not been charged, however.