Teen in Gun Raid Had Teacher List
Thursday, July 31, 2008
The Bethesda teenager in whose home investigators found a cache of assault rifles and bombmaking materials was compiling a list of home addresses for teachers at his former high school, police said yesterday.
Police officials said it was unclear why Colin McKenzie-Gude, 18, was making the list of teachers from St. John's College High School, a private school in Northwest Washington from which he graduated this year.
Also yesterday, police said McKenzie-Gude's father, Joseph L. Gude, 62, was charged with buying guns for his son, including at least some guns that the teenager was too young to own legally. Authorities have not said what, if anything, they think McKenzie-Gude planned to do with the weapons.
McKenzie-Gude turned himself in yesterday afternoon at a Montgomery police station in Rockville. He was charged in a warrant with five counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a minor, possession of a destructive device and possession of explosive material, police said.
Police said the guns at the home included assault rifles and a handgun that under Maryland law cannot be sold to anyone younger than 21.
On Tuesday, detectives and fire officials searched the family home in the 6300 block of Rockhurst Road after receiving a tip. Members of the county bomb squad found several assault rifles, two shotguns, one handgun and ammunition, police said.
They also found chemicals that could be used in making explosives, metal pipes and wires, according to fire and police officials.
Joseph Gude was charged with perjury, straw purchase of a firearm and straw purchase of a firearm for a minor not allowed to own the weapon, police said.
Police would not say how many teachers' addresses were on McKenzie-Gude's list.
Sometime yesterday, detectives met with officials at St. John's to brief them on the case, said Lucile Barr, a spokeswoman for Montgomery police. At the time, investigators were concerned for the teachers' safety because McKenzie-Gude was at large, a law enforcement source said.
St. John's officials declined to comment. An English teacher at the school, reached by phone at his home yesterday, said faculty members had been advised not to speak with reporters.
Efforts to reach McKenzie-Gude and his father were not successful yesterday. A man who answered the phone at the home last night said, "Thank you for calling, goodbye," and hung up.
McKenzie-Gude's grandfather, retired Army Col. Joseph L. Gude, 87, of Chevy Chase, said the teenager had been on the rifle team at St. John's and had earned good grades. "I always thought he was very nice, very polite," he said of his grandson, adding that he was "pretty enthusiastic about the rifle team."
Col. Gude added that his son, Joseph, served in Vietnam, spent nine years in the Air Force and has worked for the Treasury Department.
"My son is a well-disciplined man, raised by a pretty stern father," Col. Gude said.
He said that people should reserve judgment about the case and that he doesn't believe the list of teachers was connected to the weapons. "It could have been a Christmas card list or whatever," he said. "I don't think that list meant anything."
Staff researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.