A woman washing dishes at her home on a Tuesday night helped prevent another god-awful school tragedy.
Thank you, Chelsie Schellhas.
According to a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Schellhas noticed a tall teenaged boy with a backpack and a fast-food bag walking through her back yard in Waseca, Minn., toward a nearby storage unit facility.
She told the newspaper, “He walked through the puddles when there was a perfectly good road he could have walked on. It just didn’t seem right to me because we see people come and go with their trucks, and they don’t come on foot and cut through people’s back yards. It was like he was blatantly trying not to be seen. That’s why I thought it was odd.”
The newspaper further reports, “And then it took ‘some time’ for him to open the door, leading Schellhas to believe he was breaking in. Before he shut the door, Schellhas noticed trash and Wal-Mart bags in the unit. That also ‘didn’t look right,’ she said.”
Schellhas, under the advice of her cousin, called police. (Thank you, Cousin.)
When police arrived at the storage unit they found 17-year-old John David LaDue, who they eventually learned had an elaborate plan to kill his parents and sister, set a fire to divert law enforcement, then head for his high school armed with bombs and firearms that he had manufactured and stockpiled, with the intent of injuring as many students as he could.
Police said LaDue "was fully prepared and ready to go.”
You can read more details of the teen’s plans and his acquired arsenal in the newspaper report. They’re grisly and will leave you cold. He allegedly had been planning— and testing—this siege on his family and school for months.
But it only took Schellhas a few minutes to thwart it.
She saw something and she said something.
That mantra is not for nothing.
Thank you again, Ms. Schellhas, who reportedly has received flowers and notes of thanks from parents in the area. And thank you to the speedy response from law enforcement that helped prevent another national tragedy.