Classmates react to arrest of accused Russell County bomb maker - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Classmates react to arrest of accused Russell County bomb maker

RUSSELL COUNTY, AL (WTVM) -

A Russell County high school teacher uncovered what is being called a terror plot when she found a misplaced journal in the classroom.  Authorities rushed in discovered the beginnings of improvised explosives in the house of Derek Shrout, 17. 

Police said he calls himself a white supremacist and he wanted to harm other students. 

Classmates said they noticed a change in the suspect's behavior in the weeks leading up to his arrest.

Shrout moved to Alabama from Kansas a year ago with his military family now stationed at Fort Benning.  The Russell County sheriff says Shrout was active in school and on the same day he was charged with planning a racially motivated attack on students, he was in the guidance counselor's office discussing his transfer credits.

"At first through JROTC, he was confident, well-rounded, but as time went by, he was doing the whole white power thing," said senior class president, David Kelly.

Kelly was also Shrout's battalion commander in the school's JROTC program.  His friends said with the way he was acting around the school, they're not surprised he got himself into trouble.

"I saw that he was taking it more serious than anything, he started getting real deep into it, and he had a little group of people doing it with him. So, I thought it was getting to where I shouldn't be around it, so I started not even hanging out with him for a long time," said JROTC 1st Sgt. David White.

Kelly explained that Shrout would frequently give Nazi salutes at school.  He said, "In the hallway, at breakfast, at the lunch tables, after school where we have our bus parking lot, he'd have his big old group of friends and they'd go around doing the whole white power crazy stuff."   

Besides disagreeing with his views on white supremacy and wanting to harm other students, they question his intentions on the most fundamental level.

"Why would you want to go to a school and blow it up?  You know you're going to hit somebody else; you're not just going to, in particular, hit one person.  You're going to injure more than one," said White.

Sheriff's deputies found over 25 tobacco tins in Derek Shrout's house that they said he was in the process of converting into grenades.  Authorities believe he was becoming involved with an organized neo-Nazi group and he learned how to make explosives through internet research.

In his statements to police, Shrout claimed his writings are a work of fiction and he never intended to go through with an attack on the school.

Shrout was arraigned Monday on felony charges of attempted assault. A judge set his bond at $75,000 with conditions. Shrout posted bail Monday evening. 

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved. 

  • NewsMore>>

  • J-P: Finally, we're expecting a dry weekend

    J-P: Finally, we're expecting a dry weekend

    Monday, April 23 2018 4:52 PM EDT2018-04-23 20:52:11 GMT

    We'll continue to see a few showers in the forecast this week. The sky will be mostly cloudy through the rest of the afternoon with an occasional break in the overcast. Highs in the upper 60s.

    More >>

    We'll continue to see a few showers in the forecast this week. The sky will be mostly cloudy through the rest of the afternoon with an occasional break in the overcast. Highs in the upper 60s.

    More >>
  • Take Back Alabama: Unused medication disposal program

    Take Back Alabama: Unused medication disposal program

    Monday, April 23 2018 4:46 PM EDT2018-04-23 20:46:41 GMT
    Source: smartandsafeal.orgSource: smartandsafeal.org
    Source: smartandsafeal.orgSource: smartandsafeal.org

    Nearly 800 people died in Alabama in 2016 from drug overdoses, and there's something simple you can do to help lower that number. Take Back Alabama is a safe medication disposal program where you can take your unused over-the-counter and prescription medications. 

    More >>

    Nearly 800 people died in Alabama in 2016 from drug overdoses, and there's something simple you can do to help lower that number. Take Back Alabama is a safe medication disposal program where you can take your unused over-the-counter and prescription medications. 

    More >>
  • Facebook Marketplace warning

    Facebook Marketplace warning

    Monday, April 23 2018 4:14 PM EDT2018-04-23 20:14:30 GMT
    Source: WBRC videoSource: WBRC video
    Source: WBRC videoSource: WBRC video

    Good furniture at a great price: that's what customers say they expected from a shop on Facebook Marketplace called Southern Elegant Charm, but what several say they got was a ripoff.

    More >>

    Good furniture at a great price: that's what customers say they expected from a shop on Facebook Marketplace called Southern Elegant Charm, but what several say they got was a ripoff.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly