Lidl warehouse worker guilty of planning massacre at his former school

13 October 2023, 13:43

Reed Wischhusen was convicted of a string of weapons, ammunition and explosives charges
Reed Wischhusen was convicted of a string of weapons, ammunition and explosives charges. Picture: Avon and Somerset Police

By Asher McShane

A gun obsessive who was accused of planning a mass shooting is facing a lengthy jail sentence after being convicted of a string of weapons, ammunition and explosives charges.

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Reed Wischhusen, 32, had a "macabre interest" in the Dunblane gunman Thomas Hamilton and Raoul Moat and US mass killers, and had built DIY firearms and explosives to carry out a "hitman-style attack" on his former school.

In the attack he would deliberately target 10 people, as well as shoot dead teachers and attack Avon and Somerset Police headquarters.

The Lidl warehouse worker wrote down his warped plans in a document he dubbed "revenge", Bristol Crown Court heard.

To carry out his plans he compiled an armoury of homemade weapons including pistols, sub-machine guns and a shotgun, as well as ammunition, bombs, grenades and poison.

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Wischhusen's plans were only stopped when uniformed officers visited the home he shared with his father in Wick Road, Wick St Lawrence, Somerset in November last year, having received a tip-off about weapons.

During the search of his home, Wischhusen attempted to shoot himself in the head with a concealed pistol in his bathroom, 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.

The judge ordered pre-sentence reports and remanded Wischhusen into custody until he is sentenced on December 15.

"In terms of where we go from here, I would not be prepared to sentence without a pre-sentence report and I will order one and it will have to look at the issue of dangerousness," the judge said.

"I think there should also be a psychiatric report because there are so many troubling features about the defendant's conduct."