Documents reveal bomber's targets

August 26, 2009 5:33:57 PM PDT
It is now known who San Mateo police believe a young man was trying to kill when he marched into Hillsdale High School Monday with pipe bombs and a chain saw. Two people were specifically being targeted.

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The two women both work at the high school, one as a security aide, the other as a teacher. That information came out of the district attorney's office Wednesday. The school district, however, would not talk about this, although a source inside the school told ABC7 that after the criminal complaint was released, school officials sat down with the two women to break the news.

17-year-old Alexander Youshock faces eight counts including attempted murder, exploding a bomb with the intention of committing murder, and possession of weapons.

In the criminal complaint, chemistry teacher Meghan Spalding and security aide Jana Torres are mentioned as the people Youshock supposedly wanted to kill.

Youshock's family was in the courtroom Wednesday. His mother and sister left without talking to reporters. Bail for the former student was denied.

"Several of the charges have life imprisonment as penalties. And additionally, he is a risk to this community as evidenced by his conduct," Karen Guidotti with the district attorney's office said.

Police say on Monday Youshock entered Hillsdale High carrying ten pipe bombs, a chainsaw and a sword. Investigation revealed that he managed to detonate two of the bombs, but was wrestled to the ground by a teacher, Kennet Santana. Two others came to his aide.

School reopened on Wednesday.

"I feel safe with all my staff here. They're like supporting us. They're providing counselors for us if we need to talk about it. So, if it hits me, if I get scared, I have people to go talk to," Kayla Riessen told ABC7.

Mary Ellison's daughter saw Youshock in the hallway.

"My husband and I talked to our daughter about how she felt about coming back, and she was comfortable. And, this morning, she had on her Hillsdale colors and her Hillsdale softball shirt and said, 'You know, I'm fine. This is fine,'" she said.

On Tuesday, Santana was hailed as a hero by his colleagues. He recently appeared on the cover of "Bay Area Parent" magazine in an article about great dads. Some students say the staff helped avoid another tragedy.

"It's a little scary and it just shows how easily you can...You've got to live everyday like it's your last because anyone can take it," said student Tommy McKown.

In court, Youshock appeared as though he had been beaten up. Prosecutors said this was a result of the confrontation he had with Santana.

LINK: San Mateo Union High School District
LINK: Coping with traumatic events

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