An emotionally disturbed Long Island teen who apparently looked up to the Columbine shooters was injured last night while building a pipe bomb in the basement of his home, Suffolk County police said today.
Vincent Pizzonia, 17, severely injured his hand as he put together a "primitive" explosive device fashioned out of rocket propellant from model rockets and gunpowder taken from bullets, police said. Officials said the kid had access to the ammunition because his father is a retired from law enforcement.
His parents took him to Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment.
Detectives from the Arson Squad searched Pizzonia's North Babylon home and discovered a photo pinned behind his door of the two students behind the Columbine High School massacre -- Eric David Harris and Dylan Bennet Klebold killed 13 people in the suburban Denver school before shooting themselves.
Police are not ruling out the possibility that Pizzonia intended to use the device at his North Babylon High School.
Authorities also describe the young man as suffering from "mental and emotional problems."
Pizzonia allegedly told investigators he intended to finish the device and detonate it in his yard. But North Babylon High School was on modified lockdown for a brief time today while police searched backpacks and lockers.
Federal officials, including ATF officers, are helping in investigation, which is ongoing.