2 Roy High students arrested in 'revenge on the world' plot to bomb assembly
Tom Smart, Deseret News
ROY — Joshua Hoggan's Twitter feed is rife with references to flying. The 16-year-old is described as smart, conceited and preppy by friends, and he enjoys a video game called "Ace Combat: Assault Horizon."
His friend Dallin Morgan, 18, was described as quiet and independent, but few students contacted Thursday at Roy High School had much to say about him.
That all changed when word spread Thursday that the pair were arrested the previous night on suspicion of seeking "revenge on the world" by plotting to plant explosives at the school, kill fellow students at a school assembly and then escape in a stolen plane from an Ogden airfield.
The plan was thwarted by a student who saw threatening text messages and alerted school authorities. They then contacted police who searched the school and the students' homes, finding credible evidence of the plot, but no explosives.
"The plan was to use an explosive device during a school assembly, which targets a lot of people," said Roy police spokeswoman Anna Bond.
Investigators weren't sure when the duo planned to detonate the explosives or what their exact motive may have been. But it does not appear the students were focusing on any specific people, Bond said.
In text messages Hoggan sent, the teenager warned one friend, "If I tell you one day not to go to school, make damn sure you and (name redacted) are not there," according to a police affidavit filed Thursday in 2nd District Court.
"Dallin is in on it," another text message said. "He wants revenge on the world, too."
In another text, Hoggan allegedly wrote: "I've just been kinda planning my get back at the world thing and I figured if you had anyone you wanted revenge on, I could see if I have anything planned."
Within an hour of reviewing the text messages, police took the students into custody and learned more about the alleged plot.
Hoggan told Roy police officer Tyler Tomlinson, who works as a resource officer at Roy High School, that he was fascinated with the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and had even gone to Colorado to interview the school's principal about it. Tomlinson confirmed that Hoggan went to the Littleton high school on Dec. 12 for the interview, the affidavit states.
"Joshua told me he was offended that he was compared to the Columbine killers," Tomlinson wrote. "Joshua was offended by the fact that those killers only completed 1 percent of their plan and he was much more intelligent than that.
"Joshua explained to me that he could complete his plan due to how intelligent he is."
Morgan also "admitted to being part of the plan," Tomlinson wrote.
Police believe the pair developed an elaborate plan to attack the school and escape afterward.
"They had absolute knowledge of the school's security system and layout," Bond said.
School administrators also found a map of the school that outlined where the school's cameras and blind spots are located.
"The mapping was an attempt to identify where all of the security systems for the school were, how they function, what they might or might not see," Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham said.
Hoggan and Morgan had also purchased an advanced flight-simulator computer program and "logged hundreds of hours" on it, according to Bond. Investigators uncovered evidence that the two were learning to fly because they intended to steal a plane from the Ogden Hinckley Airport after the attack and "fly to a country that they couldn't be extradited from."
"We ain't gonna crash it, we're just gonna kill and fly our way to a country that won't send us back to the U.S.," Hoggan allegedly wrote in another text.
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