A 14-year-old had been probably preparing a school attack in Pennsylvania. He had a cache of guns, knives and explosive devices in his bedroom. His mother was charged Friday with buying her son three weapons.
Michele Cossey bought her son, Dillon, a .22-caliber handgun, a .22-caliber rifle and a 9 mm semiautomatic rifle, authorities said. The teen, who is home schooled, felt bullied and tried to recruit another boy for the possible attack at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, authorities said.
Police on Wednesday found the rifle, about 30 air-powered guns, swords, knives, a bomb-making book, videos of the 1999 Columbine attack in Colorado and violence-filled notebooks, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. said. The weapons were plainly visible in the boy's bedroom, he said.
Cossey bought the rifle, which had a laser scope, at a gun show on Sept. 23 and provided police with a receipt, investigators said in court papers. The teenager said the two .22-caliber weapons were stored at a friend's house.
J. David Farrell, the lawyer representing the teenager, stressed that people need to keep in mind that of all but one of the weapons put on display Thursday by prosecutors were BB guns and air rifles.
"The one gun was legally purchased and there were no bullets in the house," he said.
The boy's father, Frank Cossey, also tried to buy his son a rifle in 2005, but was not allowed to because he was a felon, police said Friday.
Dillon Cossey was charged as a juvenile with solicitation to commit terror and other counts and was being held at a youth facility. He had a brief court appearance Friday at which he was ordered to remain in juvenile detention.
The teen's arrest came the same day another 14-year-old in Ohio opened fire at his Cleveland high school, wounding four before killing himself.
Farrell noted it is not illegal in Pennsylvania for a minor to fire a weapon under adult supervision and said he did not believe the students at Plymouth Whitemarsh were in any danger.
"They're showing 30 guns on a desk that appear to be handguns and saying this was a Columbine in the making," Farrell said. "That's simply not borne out by the facts."
Michelle Cossey was charged with unlawful transfer of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a minor, corruption of a minor, endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of reckless endangerment. She appeared at a bail hearing and was freed on bail. Neither she nor her husband spoke to reporters.
Castor has said he does not believe and attack was imminent or would occur at all. He said Friday that the teen was intelligent, but had a "disturbed mind."
"This was a smart kid that clearly believes he was picked on and was a victim," Castor said. "He had psychological issues and began to act out on those feelings."
Michelle Cossey did not appear to have any role in planning an attack "but by virtue of her indulgence, she enabled him to get in this position," Castor said. "This is not the best parenting I've ever seen and she needs to be held accountable."
Her son seemed fascinated by the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. His account on MySpace, the social networking site, is filled with references to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who killed 12 schoolmates and a teacher before killing themselves
"I am pretymuch the posterboy for the person that rests upon the line between Geineus and Madman/Pycopath," Dillon Cossey wrote in post riddling with spelling errors.
He lists his motto as: "Mess with the best, Die like the rest."
He also posted videos recreating the lives of Klebold and Harris and tribute videos to the two shooters.
Police, who searched the home with the permission of the teen's parents, also discovered seven explosive devices Castor has described as homemade grenades: plastic containers filled with BBs to which gunpowder could be added. Authorities said one grenade was operable and the others had been in the process of being assembled.
The search did not turn up any ammunition for the most dangerous firearm in the bunch, the assault rifle.
Dillon Cossey previously attended middle school in the district but had been taught at home for more than a year after voluntarily leaving school, Castor said.
Plymouth Township police searched the home after getting a tip Wednesday from a high school student and his father.
"I was just sick of hearing about all these school shootings," Lewis Bennett, the boy who tipped off police, told the Philadelphia Daily News. "I didn't want another kid to do the same thing and keep this chain of events going on."
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