UNION COUNTY, N.C. -- The teen who authorities say brought a backpack full of knives and explosives to his school kept a journal that may suggest the teen was troubled.
Union County authorities are now analyzing that journal as one piece of evidence, hoping that it will provide authorities with the insight into the mindset of the teen who threatened to do harm to many of his classmates.
The teen allegedly brought a hit list to school as well, which contain the names of several of his classmates at school and specifics on the ways he planned to "handle" them.
Authorities in Canada intercepted the chatter in a chat room from the teen and alerted the FBI Tuesday.
"He wasn't posting for publicity," says Sheriff Eddie Cathey. "He was out posting just telling people what he was gonna do."
Union County authorities were alerted shortly after, saying from the time U.S. law enforcement received word to the time the school resource officer confronted the teen, it was just barely more than an hour.
"Can't take anything for granted these days," says Deputy A.J. Wallace, who has worked at Forest Hills High for just one school year.
The SRO and the assistant principal pulled the teen out of class, took his backpack and brought him to a private room.
Wallace described the teen as "very calm."
"I usually try to talk to the student before I go directly to what my main goal is I'm searching for," Wallace says.
He believes that conversation helped him gain the teen's trust, and prevented the situation from escalating.
Wallace says the teen admitted he had things in his backpack that he shouldn't. Wallace recovered an arsenal of knives, fireworks, flammable liquid, a dismantled shotgun shell, and a hit list.
Charges have not yet been filed against the teen and he is not in police custody. Authorities say he's receiving help and counseling.
"The investigation is still an active one," Cathey says, adding that they do believe charges are possible in the future.
Detectives plan to speak to the teens who were targeted on the list to see if they can provide some insight into what would prompt the student to want to harm them.
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