A “dangerous” man has been found guilty of planning a “terrifying” mass shooting on his former school – and a police headquarters.
Reed Wischhusen had a “macabre interest” in “infamous killers”, including the Dunblane gunman Thomas Hamilton and US mass shootings, and had built firearms and explosives to carry out the assault.
He planned to deliberately target 10 people he felt had wronged him in the attack, as well as shoot dead teachers and attack Avon and Somerset Police headquarters.
The 32-year-old Lidl warehouse worker wrote down his planned mass shootings – which he planned to carry out disguised as a police officer – in a 1,700 document he dubbed “revenge”, Bristol Crown Court heard.
A photo of Wischhusen dressed in a police uniform and holding a gun was later discovered to be the background image on his phone.
Image: Reed Wischhusen will be sentenced on 15 December. Pic: Avon and Somerset Police After receiving a tip-off, police officers searched his home in Wick St Lawrence, Somerset, in November last year and found he had compiled an armoury of homemade weapons including pistols, sub-machine guns and a shotgun, as well as ammunition, bombs, grenades and poison.
Wischhusen attempted to shoot himself in the head with a concealed pistol in his bathroom during the police search of his home, before running downstairs with the gun to confront armed officers.
Fearing they were going to be killed, the defendant was shot twice by officers and he spent several months recovering in hospital.
Following a 10-day trial, a jury found the defendant guilty of having an explosive substance with intent to endanger life, possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life, possessing ammunition with intent to endanger life and possessing a prohibited firearm without a certificate.
He had previously admitted possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, possessing a prohibited firearm and possessing ammunition without a firearm certificate.
Judge Martin Picton had earlier directed the jury to find the defendant guilty of an eighth charge of having an explosive substance.
He adjourned the case until 15 December for sentencing and remanded Wischhusen into custody until then.
Wischhusen told jurors during his trial he had no intention of carrying out his plot, saying: “It was a psychological release and feelings like I am getting back at people.
“It’s why people write their feelings down and tear it up and throw it away – just I forgot to throw it away.”
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But Detective Chief Inspector Simon Dewfall, who led the investigation, said: “Reed Wischhusen’s plans are terrifying. Had he not been caught when he was, the consequences simply do not bear thinking about.
“He claimed his plans were merely fantasy but it’s clear he was actively working towards acting on them, with many of the items he identified as needing for his attacks recovered from his address.
“He had explosive substances and firearms capable of causing lethal harm while, chillingly, he also had Avon and Somerset Police uniform.
“While the weapons he built were crudely constructed, they were extremely dangerous.
“Among those he admitted handing in during a firearms amnesty was a fully operational sub-machine gun, which was loaded with ammunition.
“Incidents of this nature are thankfully few and far between, but when they do happen our officers are ready to respond to them.”
He added: “It is because of their courage and dedication that a dangerous man has been brought to justice.”