School shootings have been happening disturbingly frequently over the last decade, with the most recent mass shooting taking place in Florida. If it wasn’t for one grandmother in Everett, Washington, we might have been reading about another one this morning.
The 911 call is chilling to hear, as Catherine O’Connor calmly explained to the operator that her 18-year-old grandson was planning on murdering hundreds of innocent students.
She had found his journal, where he detailed his plans to commit the mass shooting.
“What I’m reporting is I’m finding journal entries from my grandson,” Catherine told the operator. “And he’s planning on having a mass shooting at one of the high schools.”
When officers responded to the call, they found a semi-automatic rifle in Joshua O’Connor’s guitar case.
They read the journal that prompted his grandmother’s call and were shocked at what they found.
Not only was Joshua planning on shooting his fellow students, but he was working on homemade explosives to maximize casualties. He wanted his attack to be “infamous.”
“I can’t wait. My aim has gotten much more accurate … I can’t wait to walk into that class and blow all those [expletive] away,” he wrote.
“I need to get the biggest fatality number I possibly can,” Joshua’s journal read. “I need to make this count.”
“We are grateful for the grandmother’s role in preventing the tragedy from occurring,” Andrew Muntz of the Mukilteo School District said.
“In light of what happened in Florida yesterday, her actions demonstrate the importance of telling an authority if you hear or see anything.”
“It is important to remain observant about odd or peculiar behaviors with our children, or with fellow students,” Officer Aaron Snell added.
“In Everett, we were fortunate enough that a family member believed there were credible threats and contacted law enforcement for further investigation.”
Although it was undoubtedly difficult for Catherine O’Connor to call the police on her own grandson, she most likely saved the lives of countless students. Joshua is facing a long list of charges including attempted murder.
“It really speaks to the importance of if you see something or hear something to notify the authorities,” said Muntz.
“That’s what she did. It could well have saved many, many lives including her grandson’s life.”
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