Documents describe detailed plans for high school massacre
By Joe Beck
An 18-year-old Edinburg man accused of plotting a Columbine-style massacre at Stonewall Jackson High School in Quicksburg saw himself as a victim of bullying by his peers and was intent on getting even with them, according to court documents.
The documents, including a report filed by probation officer Amanda Hanson Kibler, describe the defendant, Aaron Michael Trump, of 546 Rittenour Road, as a troubled young man with a history of mental health problems and treatments, and eligibility for special education services.
A grand jury indicted Trump on Wednesday in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on one count each of conspiring to commit terrorism, communicating a bomb threat and building a phony device intended to lead others into believing it was a bomb. The indictments list dates from the last of week of September as the time the offenses were committed and identifies the high school as the target of the terrorism plot and bomb threat.
Kibler’s report cites police reports, written journals and Facebook entries posted by Trump as evidence that he was planning an attack “very similar to the school massacre of Columbine High School in Colorado” in 1999.
“Aaron is reported to be obsessed with this event,” Kibler wrote, adding that his planning showed much attention to details.
“It involved a detailed plan of where the massacre would start and where it would end,” Kibler wrote. “There are reports that Aaron developed a “hit list” of peers he named who would die in this event.
“At the end of the occasion, it was Aaron’s plan to kill himself after this attack. All reports show Aaron acted alone.”
Kibler reported that Trump planned to use a 12-gauge shotgun, fire bombs and knives and had begun gathering supplies needed to conduct the attack.
Trump’s defense attorney, Brandon Keller of Woodstock, did not return a message asking for comment on the court documents.
Kibler’s report links the plot to Trump’s detailed expressions of “rage towards several students as he states he was a victim of being bullied by several peers. He expressed his ‘hit list’ in his journals of students he planned to kill during this event.
“He called himself the ‘NBK’, Natural Born Killer” Kibler wrote.
Kilber’s report lists a 10-day bus suspension in 2009 “for threatening to burn another student’s house down and slit his throat with a knife” among school disciplinary actions taken against Trump.
Administrators also suspended Trump from school for eight days in 2009 for bringing a knife to school, according to the probation’s officer’s report.
A 2010 meeting held to determine Trump’s eligibility for special education services concluded that “significant levels of depression and anxiety were found and were impacting his academic performance,” according to the report.
The report also cites a 2010 psychological evaluation that showed results “strongly suggestive of the presence of Asperger’s Syndrome.”
“His social interaction with the examiner, his poor reality testing, his obsessive interest in guns and Army activities, elevated anxiety levels, compulsive bedtime routines, and the absence of friends, and limited social skills seem to point strongly in the direction of Asperberger’s Syndrome,” according to the mental health report.
James Allamong, Trump’s defense lawyer at the time, filed in mid-October a motion to release his client on bond to the custody of his parents. Allamong said mental health problems were causing Trump to have “a very difficult time in detention, which is detrimental to his well-being.”
“Aaron is not a threat to himself or other,” Allamong wrote. “There are no weapons, explosive devices or ammunition in the home. Any other products such as gasoline will be locked under key.”
Trump remains in the Shenandoah County jail where he is awaiting his next court hearing scheduled for Feb. 5.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or email@example.com