Alleged Shooter Lunged at Cop
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) _ After he was arrested in a school shooting rampage that left two classmates dead, Kip Kinkel lunged at an officer with a knife that he smuggled into the police station, authorities said Saturday.
Police said Kinkel, who is also charged in the shooting deaths of his parents, had a hunting knife taped to his leg that escaped notice when he was arrested following Thursday’s morning’s cafeteria shooting at Thurston High School.
The freckle-faced 15-year-old was handcuffed and placed in an interview room at the police station while an officer left briefly to secure his weapon, said police spokeswoman Rosemary Pryor.
Kinkel maneuvered his handcuffed arms to his front and lunged at the returning officer, she said. ``The officer stepped back and used pepper spray on Kinkel.″
Police made the disclosure after finally clearing away the bodies from Kinkel’s home, along with five ``sophisticated″ bombs _ one of which exploded as demolitions teams were attempting to disrupt it. There were no injuries.
Also found in the home were 15 other inactive explosive devices and detailed bomb-making instructions that had been taken off the Internet. Police confiscated a computer from the home.
On a shelf in his bedroom there was a pineapple-style hand grenade confirmed as empty. Two empty howitzer canisters sat at the foot of his bed.
In a crawl space underneath the house, there was a 6-inch cube of a white chalky substance wired to batteries and a kitchen timer.
In his closet, there was a one-pound device made from three soda cans and set with a hobby fuse.
In the attic, there were fireworks that had been cut open to collect the explosive powder. Investigators also found vinyl pipe-constructed devices that had electronic circuits and fuses that needed only a filler to make them into pipe bombs. One was 3 feet long.
``I continue to be taken aback by the youthfulness of the offender,″ said Lane County Sheriff Jan Clements.
Demolition experts had already disposed of four bombs Friday and were removing the body of Faith M. Kinkel, 57, when a fifth bomb was found.
It wasn’t until Friday night that the home was deemed safe enough to resume the investigation and remove the body of William P. Kinkel, 59.
Clements emphasized that none of the explosives were rigged to go off when people entered the house.
Clements said details of the time and manner of the deaths of the boy’s parents would have to await an autopsy, but it was clear they had been shot, perhaps as early as Wednesday afternoon.
At the school, the day dawned gray and drizzly as the crowd of TV cameras and satellite trucks thinned. But the chain-link fence in front of the school grew more colorful, stuffed with flower bouquets, rhododendron blooms, cards, teddy bears, balloons, poems and prayers. There was an American flag, trimmed in black; a scarlet hawthorn tree in a pot.
There were get-well wishes for the injured, condolences for the families of the dead. Dozens of balloons in the school colors _ red and black _ lent a morbid feel to the scene.
Halfway along the 100-yard fence, some students set up a ``press-free zone″ with yellow crime-scene flagging, hoping to escape the barrage of TV cameras.
``This is a place for people to come and mourn. They need some privacy,″ said Jason Bower, 15, a freshman at the school. He and about 15 others camped out by the fence Friday night.
Kip Kinkel’s parents were both high school Spanish teachers who neighbors say kept close watch over their two children and restricted their use of guns. The couple’s daughter, Kristin Kinkel, 21, is a student at Hawaii Pacific University.
Kip Kinkel remained in custody without bail following his Friday arraignment on four counts of aggravated murder. Because he is only 15, he cannot be executed if found guilty of killing his parents and two students who died in the hail of gunfire in the school cafeteria.
Two attorneys have been appointed to represent him. He is not due back in court until June 16 to enter a plea.
Jamon Kent, Springfield schools superintendent met Saturday with teachers and counselors to plan how to deal with students’ grief and fears when school opens on Tuesday.
``One of the hardest things for these students will be Tuesday morning, when they see the desks that aren’t filled,″ Kent said. ``We want all the kids back. They are safe here. This is a safe campus.″