“I Need to Make This Shooting Infamous”: Grandma Finds Grandson’s Disturbing Journal Entry, Thwarts School Shooting in Washington

As the Florida school shooting continues to rattle the nation and raise outcries for stricter gun control laws, a grandmother in Washington has taken matters into her own hands to prevent what could have been the nation’s next great tragedy.

After discovering her 18-year-old grandson’s plot to carry out a mass shooting at ACES High School, Catherine O’Connor thwarted his attempt by turning him into authorities. She uncovered his disturbing plan just one day before the Florida massacre that killed at least seventeen.

Washington state authorities arrested Joshua Alexander O’Connor at his school in Everett on Tuesday after his grandma turned over journal entries detailing his mass murder scheme.

“I need to make this count,” Joshua reportedly wrote. “I’ve been reviewing many mass shootings/bombings (and attempted bombings) I’m learning from past shooters/bombers mistakes, so I don’t make the same ones.”

“I’m preparing myself for the school shooting. I can’t wait,” he penned in another journal entry. “My aim has gotten much more accurate … I can’t wait to walk into that class and blow all those (expletive) away.”

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ABC affiliate KOMO also acquired court documents revealing his written intent to make this mass shooting the largest in history by killing as many people as possible:

“I need to make this shooting/bombing … infamous. I need to get the biggest fatality number I possibly can.”

Even more alarming, Catherine also discovered a semi-automatic rifle stashed away in a guitar case at her house, confirming her fear that her grandson had full intent to carry out the heinous plot detailed in his journal.

Joshua is now being held on $5 million bail in the Snohomish County Jail, and police are currently investigating the case further.

Catherine is being credited for making the tough, yet highly necessary decision to call 911 in response to her horrific discovery about her grandson.

“There’s a lot of kids who could have lost their lives,” her neighbor, Julie Primachik, told KOMO. “I think it’s a hero-like thing to do.”

“We are really grateful to the grandmother, added Mukilteo School District’s Andy Muntz. “It couldn’t have been easy for her to do. It speaks to the importance of the saying, ‘if you hear something or see something, call authorities,’ and that’s what she did. It’s quite possible she saved many lives including her grandson’s.”

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.