Questions Remain on LaDue's Motive

Created: 05/02/2014 6:55 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- As folks in Waseca, MN, come to terms with the scope of what "could have" happened in a foiled school bombing plot, many still wonder how a young man was able to obtain numerous weapons and plan in such great detail without anyone noticing.

When it comes to 17-year-old John LaDue, school officials said it was only his violent plan that came out of the blue.

"He was known. People made lots of contact with him,” said Thomas Lee, superintendent of Waseca Public Schools. “We tried to do everything we possibly could to build relationships with him as well."

Lee said LaDue was reserved, but had no history of violence, didn't cause problems in school, and got good grades.

Behavioral experts said in cases like these, where there are no obvious signs of distress, teachers, family members, and friends need to pay attention to the subtle signs that something might be wrong.

"Ask them questions, just note if there does seem to be something a little bit different about what's going on with that person as they get a little bit older,” said Matthew Talmadge, a clinical Supervisor at Gerard Acacemy, a home for troubled youth. “[Note] if there's mental illness that might be coming on, or it there's some odd interests that they might have that aren’t typical."

Talmadge also said parents need to monitor a child's activity online for potential red flags, and maintain strong relationships to create an open dialogue.

"Is it an appropriate change? Is it not? If there's any question at all, ask more questions,” Talmadge said. “Really try to seek out whatever help there might be."

On Friday, the Waseca County Attorney filed a motion to try LaDue as an adult, and legal experts not associated with the case said there are a number of factors that go into that decision.

"That includes the seriousness of the offense, the culpability of the child, and the planning and carrying out of the offense,” said Erin O’Brien, an assistant county attorney in Freeborn County.

LaDue's next court appearance is on May 12th.

On Friday night, school officials held a meeting at Waseca High School to talk to parents about new security measures that will be put in place, and how to talk to their kids about what happened.

Photo: ABC 6 News