By: Hamilton Brooks
Police say Michelle Kolts, 27, was obsessed with the Columbine High School massacre and the Oklahoma City bombing. She was arrested this week following her parents’ discovery of 24 pipe bombs in her bedroom, according to officials.
Kolts was reportedly charged with 24 counts of making a destructive device with intent to harm, Chad Chronister, the sheriff of Hillsborough County, said at a news conference.
Chronister said authorities had been watching Kolts for many months. Law enforcement had reportedly been contacted by a commercial printer that Kolts had asked for help in creating manifestoes and “anarchist instructions,” the sheriff said at a press conference. “She became consumed with the Columbine and Oklahoma killings.”
“While checking Michelle’s bedroom, her parents found what appeared to be a significant amount of pipe bombs, other bomb-making materials and numerous weapons,” Sheriff Chronister said, according to the New York Times. “Her parents, who were in the military, called the authorities on Thursday, he said. When the police arrived, they evacuated the home, in Wimauma, Fla., about 30 miles south of Tampa, and called the bomb squad.”
According to the Times, police “discovered 24 pipe bombs, smokeless pistol powder, fuse material, 23 different knives, two hatchets, two BB-pellet-type rifles, six BB-pellet-type handguns and dozens of books and DVDs about murder, mass killing, domestic terrorism and bomb making, Sheriff Chronister said. “The amount of highly destructive materials we found in this home were astonishing,” he said, adding, “If used, these bombs could have caused catastrophic damage and harm to hundreds, even thousands of people.”
“Last year, police went to the Kolts’ home after receiving a tip that she had placed an online order for material on pipe bomb construction. But they determined she was not a threat. Kolts’ parents said Friday she is undergoing mental health treatment,” CBS News reported. “Kolts is now being held in the county jail.”
“The deputies also found pistol powder, “fuse material,” 23 knives, two hatchets, nunchucks, two BB rifles, six BB handguns and dozens of books on terrorism and bomb-making at the family’s home on Jagged Cloud Drive in Wimauma, about 30 miles south of downtown Tampa,” according to NBC News. “Police announced the arrest of a woman accused making two dozen pipe bombs in Florida.”
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and deputies are still investigating, NBC continued, “but Chronister said Friday it wasn’t immediately clear if Kolts had specific targets in mind. “We’re not aware of type of list .. she was targeting,” the sheriff said. “Her statements were very generic in the fact she just intended to hurt people.”