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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

16-year-old intended to bomb Cheney school with homemade explosives, court docs say

A 16-year-old boy was charged with two felonies after he said he made three explosive devices and intended to bomb his school, WIN Academy, in Cheney, according to police and court documents.

A mental health worker at Inland Northwest Behavioral Health told police the boy was at the behavioral health facility and told staff he made the devices and planned to bomb the school, which is located on the Cheney Middle School campus, search warrant documents say.

The Spokesman-Review is not identifying the boy because he was charged in Spokane County Juvenile Court.

According to documents, the boy was at the mental health clinic because he told his therapist he wanted to bomb his school. His therapist then told the boy’s mother to take her son to the behavioral health center.

Police recovered the three explosive devices, according to a Cheney Police Department news release. Two of them were retrieved from a Cheney residence and the third was located at a Spokane County home.

Court documents say the father of the boy’s girlfriend found and “disarmed” one of the devices by removing the fuse. The father told police the device was a “commercial mortar” like those used in firework displays. He said the mortar was surrounded by BBs or ball bearings and wrapped in tinfoil.

Airway Heights Police Department Lt. Jake Keith said the boy was booked into the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center for possessing or controlling an explosive and threats to bomb or injure property. More charges are possible, he said.

Keith said Airway Heights police charged the boy because the boy is a student at Cheney Public Schools, which contracts with Airway Heights police.

Cheney police Sgt. Zeb Campbell, a detective, said the boy made his first appearance Thursday in juvenile court.

Campbell said there are no other suspects.