Aspiring School Shooter in Washington Was Busted After His Grandma Found His Journal

What happened?

A teenager was arrested in Washington state on suspicion of attempted murder after his grandmother called 911 and alerted authorities about his alleged plan to shoot up a school.

Pat and Stu talked about this disturbing story on today’s show and wondered if encouraging “see something, say something” is an option to help prevent more shootings.

Yikes. How did Grandma find out?

Joshua Alexander O’Connor, 18, was arrested Tuesday when his grandmother showed police a journal allegedly detailing his scheme to shoot as many people as possible at a nearby school and to use DIY explosives to increase the death count.

What else do we know?

After serving a search warrant, detectives took the high school student’s journal, a rifle hidden inside a guitar case and inert grenades as evidence.

“I need to make this count,” O’Connor reportedly wrote in the journal, which detailed ways to make homemade explosives and an armed robbery that O’Connor is accused of participating in so he could fund his plot.

O’Connor allegedly wrote that he had decided which local school to target through a coin toss. He settled on ACES High School, where he was a student.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

STU: Thing number one, demand your city use data-driven strategies to reduce violence. More than 25 percent of gun homicides happened in neighborhoods that contained just 1.5 percent of the country's total population. The Live Free campaign and a community justice reform coalition are working to organize communities most intensely impacted by violence. These activists believe that making neighborhoods safer, requires addressing gun violence, police shootings, and criminal justice reform at the same time, not as competing issues. So, again, that doesn't necessarily mean gun control. But maybe there's some element to that.

And they -- the guardian says you can do that. Strengthen your state's approach to guns and domestic violence. Again, this is something that I think a lot of people agree with even if you have Second Amendment beliefs. Tougher state and local gun laws.

PAT: What does that mean? If you're convicted of domestic violence, you can't have a gun.

STU: You can't have a gun. All right. Support the effort to pass extreme risk protection orders. Advocates have launched a joint effort this year, over 20 states, to pass extreme risk protection order laws, which give family members and law enforcement officials a way to petition a court to temporarily bar at-risk people from possessing firearms.

California has a version of this.

PAT: Here's the problem with that though: You've got an at-risk person at your house. That means you can't have any guns in your house, right? That doesn't just take it away from the person. It would also take away the parents or the siblings, or whoever has a legally purchased gun.

STU: Yeah. And these are not things that -- some of this stuff you couldn't get passed because they would restrict people's rights to bear arms. And, you know, that's the thing we never really talk about. Bottom line, most of the stuff that the left is proposing, winds up getting overturned in the Supreme Court anyway. So we fear these things because they're going to try to take these guns away and they're going to try to do all these things. They can pass all the stuff they want. Overwhelming possibility that it gets overturned by the Supreme Court anyway.

PAT: Right now. Yeah. As long as the Supreme Court is in its current configuration. That could change if a liberal ever packs the court.

STU: Of course. Learn how to identify when someone is at risk.

Sandy Hook Promise, an advocacy group founded by family members of the Sandy Hook shooting has trained more than 2 million students and adults to know their signs.

That sort of stuff, of course, you can do that. And have gun owners lead the way in preventing gun suicides. Again, this is the smart point. As we point out, 65 percent of gun deaths come from suicide. Not murder.

So can you do those? I don't know. That might reduce it a little bit. I think to me, we talked about the whole media situation. I noticed another person. I think it was on CNN yesterday, not giving the name of the shooter. There was a shooter in -- I don't have it in front of me.

I wish I had the story. I'll give you the baseline here. Grandma goes into kid's room, opens up his journal, because she's feeling kind of weird about what's going on. He just seems a little bit off. Opens up his journal, just starts reading. Line by line plan on how he's going to murder, do a school shooting in a specific school which he flipped a school to figure out which school it was going to be. Detailed plans. And his description about how he wanted to set a record and outdo all the other school shootings. He had read a lot about other school shootings.

PAT: Oh, my gosh.

STU: And wanted to make sure he did better than that. He learned from their mistakes. Again, this is media obsession with this stuff. He comes to it, he says, I want to beat these guys. Luckily, the grandma actually looked at the journal and then looked in his guitar case, which included the weapon that he was going to use in the particular school shooting. He had planned -- he had all sorts of details about it.

PAT: Wow.

STU: And think about this, what a moment it must be if you're this -- your grandson is doing this, you open it up, you have this knowledge. What do you do? Luckily, she called, like she would have, authorities. They arrested the kid.

And not only did she prevent dozens of deaths possibly at this school, also, she prevented most likely her grandson's death, who either would have been shot or he would have shot himself.

PAT: It's interesting. They did arrest him?

STU: They did.

PAT: On what charge? Terrorist threats or something?

STU: I don't have the story in front of me. The defense was raising the point I think you're raising, which is, he didn't actually shoot anybody yet. He was just musing in a journal.

PAT: Right.

STU: Now, of course, he had grenades and he had a gun.

PAT: Okay. So she's got -- wow.

STU: He was pretty well-armed to do this.

PAT: Wow.

STU: Although, there wasn't necessarily a law that prevented him from having the gun. Right? He could have had the gun.

PAT: Where does a teenage kid get grenades?

STU: That's a good question. That may have been explained --

PAT: In the story.

STU: I'm sure in the investigation, they will come to that conclusion.

But the point being that there are -- if you can uncover these things beforehand, and we have caught a lot of them. Thank God. I mean, being more aware is a big part of that. And I think not encouraging these people to be these famous celebrities in their communities, I think that helps too.

PAT: Definitely.

STU: And that's one that, again, the media can do without passing any legislation. They can't blame Congress for it. They can't blame anybody for it, except themselves.

PAT: Don't make them famous.

STU: Don't make them famous. Take every step that you can. What would that do? Would it reverse one out of every ten? Maybe.

PAT: Maybe.

STU: And then, you know what, really worth doing. Really worth doing.

There are new curriculum standards being implemented into schools throughout the nation for health classes that not only go far beyond what's appropriate for young children, but are entrenched in clear political biases, too. Under the standards, third-graders are taught about hormone blockers and endless gender identities, and topics get shockingly graphic for kids as young as 11. Some schools are even teaching their teachers and kids to ignore what parents have to say about these topics. And the worst part may be that many parents are completely unaware what their children are being taught.

Tina Descovich, co-founder of Moms for Liberty, joined "The Glenn Beck Program" to explain exactly what you can ask at your next school board meeting to ensure this "horrifying" curriculum isn't being taught in your kid's school.

Watch the video clip below:

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It should come as no surprise that a newsworthy story receives more media coverage when released on a Monday than a Friday. The reason is in part due to a large number of news-consuming Americans checking out for the week to focus on their weekend plans rather than the news.

On Monday's radio program, Glenn Beck shared information that President Joe Biden decided to release on Friday — when fewer people would notice — regarding the Climate Finance report. This report is marketed to Americans as "A Roadmap To Build a Climate-Resilient Economy." But Glenn believes the report to be Biden's Great Reset warning shot to banks.

In this clip, Glenn warned that if Americans don't stand together, in eight years we all indeed will own nothing. Watch the clip for the full story. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.



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On today's radio program, Glenn Beck was joined by Bill O'Reilly to discuss the top stories of the week.

For O'Reilly, the biggest story this week centered around someone mysteriously missing from mainstream media news reports today: Mark Zuckerberg. Specifically, O'Reilly said it's the 'scandalous' way the Facebook CEO spent nearly $420 million to influence the 2020 election — and did so successfully.

Watch the clip to hear the full conversation. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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On Thursday's radio program, Grace Smith and her father, Andy, joined Glenn Beck on the phone and provided a first-hand account of Grace's refusal to wear a mask at school.

Smith, 16, began a maskless protest after her school district in Laramie, Wyoming, decided to implement a mask mandate. As a result, Grace received three suspensions, was issued two $500-citations, and was eventually arrested.

"How long were you in jail?" Glenn asked.

Grace said was taken to jail but was never booked nor was she was placed in a jail cell.

Glenn commended Grace's father, Andy, for raising such a "great citizen" and asked if it was Grace's idea to protest. Andy said it was Grace's idea, explaining that they took the position of arguing on the grounds of civil rights rather than the efficacy of wearing a mask.

Grace has since withdrawn from public school and started a home school program. She also told Glenn that she will continue to fight the school district, legally.

You can donate to Grace's legal fund here.

To hear more from this conversation click here.

Disclaimer: The content of this clip does not provide medical advice. Please seek the advice of local health officials for any COVID-19 and/or COVID vaccine related questions & concerns.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.