Oregon High School Scare

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

Police and school administrators are picking up the pieces and trying to understand exactly what happened.

Oregon’s population is 4,000; a quiet farming community, a model of safety to many, but Wednesday that safety was potentially compromised after two homemade bombs exploded outside Oregon High School.

"We know with Columbine and Arkansas, small towns have been touched by these things already, so we always knew there was a potential, but we've prepared as a department for an emergency like this," says Oregon Police Lt. Darin Dehaan.

The school was evacuated and bomb squads were called in. Three students, two 15-year-old sophomores and one 14-year-old freshman, were quickly apprehended. Police also found a backpack of components that could be used to make pipe bombs and what appeared to be a large pipe bomb in a storage room.

"We knew what it looked like, what it had a potential to be and potential of seriousness and damage it could cause, so we cleared [the] area. Through further investigation there were no fuses or timing devices," says Dehaan.

Lt. Dehaan says several fellow students heard the three juveniles, "Talking about it, but there was no threats, no hit list or targets. We feel good, but unfortunately these fellow students didn't take it seriously and come forward and tell teachers, their parents or us," say Dehaan.

Superintendent Todd Prusator hopes people's eyes will be opened by this incident.

"If parents or other students hear anything threatening, make sure to notify us so things can be stopped before anything happens," says Prusator.

It’s a small town moving forward after a big scare and dedicated to preserving the community's innocence.

Thursday afternoon the three juveniles appeared before a judge for a detention hearing. According to the Ogle County state attorney's office, all three have been charged with possession of explosives and unlawful use of weapons on school grounds.

Court dates have been set. Because they're juveniles the state attorney's office can't disclose whether the boys are still in custody.


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