May 6, 1996 in Nation/World

Teen Gang Consumed ‘By Blood Lust, Arson’ Sheriff Says Youths Responsible For Fires, Band Director’s Death

Associated Press
 

Members of a teenage “militia” charged with killing a high school band director and burning down a church were consumed by “blood lust and arson,” authorities said.

The Lords of Chaos organized a month ago and called itself a militia, even though members couldn’t define what that was, police said.

The group was led by 18-year-old Kevin D. Foster, whom other members called God. Foster is accused of pulling the trigger in the slaying of Mark Schwebes, band director of Riverdale High School, where Foster was once a student.

Schwebes, 32, was shot with a 12-gauge shotgun when he answered his door Tuesday night. A few hours earlier he had questioned two of the four teenagers now charged with his slaying about a can of gasoline he saw them with.

The teens had planned to use the gas to burn their school auditorium, the sheriff’s office said.

Members of the group have confessed to other crimes in this southwest Florida city, including the arson of a church and restaurant and an armed robbery and carjacking at another restaurant, officials said.

They also were charged in a fire that nearly destroyed an abandoned Coca-Cola bottling plant on April 20.

“It was like a vortex of blood lust and arson,” Sheriff John McDougall said. “It was consuming them. They couldn’t get enough.”

Of the group’s seven core members, five were charged with crimes on Saturday. The other two are cooperating with deputies and haven’t been charged.

Also charged with murder were Derek Shields, 18, Peter E. Magnotti, 17, and Christopher Black, 18. Christopher Burnett, 17, was charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery. All five were charged with arson.

Other teens as young as 14 were either being initiated into or were associated with the gang, authorities said. Many of the group’s crimes were committed as part of initiation rites, investigators said.

The group’s master plan was to steal costumes at Disney World and go on a shooting spree that would target blacks, according to an unidentified member quoted Sunday in the News-Press of Fort Myers.

“I wouldn’t put anything past them,” McDougall said. “I have no doubt whatsoever that they would have carried it through. Every other plan they had, they executed.”

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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