BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Friday, 2 February, 2001, 00:40 GMT
Teenager in court over 'murder plan'
De Anza College
DeGuzman is accused of planning to attack De Anza College
A 19-year-old college student in San Jose, California, has appeared in court to be formally charged with planning what is being described as a Columbine-style school killing.

Our theory is that there was going to be a massacre

Santa Clara County Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu
Police discovered dozens of explosives and weapons in Al DeGuzman's room of his parents' home.

He faces 122 criminal counts of possessing weapons and explosives with intent to injure people. If convicted on all the charges, he faces 108 years in prison.

Al DeGuzman appearing in court
DeGuzman during his court appearance
The alleged plot to blow up De Anza College in nearby Cupertino was uncovered on Monday night when a photographic laboratory worker called police after developing pictures of DeGuzman allegedly posing with the arsenal of weapons.

'Brimming with hate'

Police have characterised DeGuzman as brimming with hate and fascinated with the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado.

Columbine killers on security camera
The Columbine killers were caught on security camera
DeGuzman's attorney, Craig Wormley, declined on Wednesday to comment on his client's alleged fixation with Columbine, but disagreed with authorities' description of DeGuzman.

"That's an absolute falsehood. There are many people he cared about and loved," Mr Wormley said. "Both his parents are in an extreme state of shock."

Thirty pipe bombs and 20 Molotov cocktails are alleged to have been found stashed under clothes and in duffel bags in DeGuzman's bedroom.

Pictures of himself with his outfit on, with his gun strapped on and a whole bunch of different guns. And there were some suspicious-looking clear bottles... [which] later on I realised were Molotov cocktails

Photo lab worker Kelly Bennett
Investigators are alleged to have also recovered an audiocassette on which DeGuzman expresses sympathy for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two teenagers who carried out the Columbine killings, several articles about the shootings and notes allegedly written by DeGuzman in praise of Klebold and Harris.

The police say they also found a diagram of the college campus targeted by DeGuzman and several notes that indicated that he planned to plant the bombs at 0430 local time on Tuesday morning and then attack the school's main cafeteria around lunch time.

"He was going to kill as many people as possible before he died," Police Sergeant Steve Dixon said.

"He seemed to think the more people he killed, the better it'd be, the more media attention."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
America and the gun

Key Stories
See also:

06 Jul 00 | Americas
Columbine audio tapes released
24 Jun 00 | Americas
Man jailed in Columbine case
15 May 00 | Americas
US moms protest against guns
20 Apr 00 | Americas
In pictures: Columbine remembers
20 Apr 00 | Americas
One year after Columbine
07 Mar 00 | Americas
Clinton sets sights on gun control
21 Apr 99 | Americas
Timetable of terror
29 Apr 99 | Americas
Denver killings: Special report
Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories