A GUNMAN who was accused of planning a mass shooting has been jailed for life after being convicted of a string of weapons, ammunition and explosives charges.

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

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

The Lidl warehouse worker, who owned a fake police uniform, wrote down his warped plans in a document he dubbed “revenge", Bristol Crown Court heard.

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

Wischhusen’s plans were stopped only when uniformed officers visited the home he shared with his father in Wick Road, Wick St Lawrence, Somerset, in November 2022 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, an officer shot the defendant twice. Wischhusen spent several months recovering in hospital.

In victim impact statements read to the court, the officers who were confronted by Wischhusen spoke of how traumatic the incident had been for them.

“I struggle to get past the point of having shot someone,” one said.

“I have since been told that a trauma consultant where the male was treated said that the first aid care we gave, as well as a blood transfusion saved his life.”

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A colleague said: “This whole incident feels like it has scared me and left me distressed.”

Another said they have recurring nightmares and fear they are going to be shot every time they go into a house.

“The overriding experience from this is how valuable your life is and how soon it can be over,” they said.

“This incident makes you realise how fragile life can be. It is something that will never leave me.”

A jury convicted the defendant 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 directed the jury to find the defendant guilty of an eighth charge of having an explosive substance.

In mitigation Adam Vaitilingam KC, defending, told the court Wischhusen was of previously good character and “some ability”.

“It was a spur of the moment to take the gun and shoot himself and after that have it used so the officers would shoot him,” he said.

“He is a man of good character and a man of some ability and it is shame he was not able to put it into a more creative field having had rejections from jobs he applied for, including the army.”

Passing sentence, Judge Picton said Wischhusen was obsessed with firearms and explosives and only a life sentence was appropriate.

“Your obsessions in this regard are long standing,” he said.

“I have no doubt that what you committed to writing in your journals – the evidence about which featured heavily in the trial – represented your true thoughts rather than being fantasy as you set out to persuade the jury.”

Imposing a life sentence with a minimum term of 12 years, the judge described the events of November 28 as “truly shocking”.

“I have watched and rewatched the video footage and you were calm and controlled,” he said.

“Having chosen to carry a loaded firearm on your person when going about your daily life, shows the danger you pose to society.

“It’s reflective of your obsession with weapons.

“The fact that you were prepared to use a loaded firearm in the presence of these officers and in the context of your thoughts in the journals is deeply concerning.

“This was a wholly uncontrollable situation where lives were put at risk.

“The body-worn camera footage is deeply shocking.”

Wischhusen had equipment in his outhouse to manufacture the pistols, submachine guns, ammunition and explosives needed for the plans he set out in the 1700-word “revenge” document, the court was told.

“Yes, revenge is on my mind it’s a powerful motivator, be nice to get back at the people who caused me stress and worry over the years it’s been eating away at my brain like cancer,” he wrote in an introduction.

Phase one was to kill 10 people, including ex-classmates, teachers and police staff, using a converted pistol with a silencer, while wearing disguised clothing and a wig.

He planned to spare two police staff so they would feel “survivor’s guilt,” citing Dunblane killer Hamilton as inspiration.

He would then walk into his old school, Priory School in Worle, to shoot and kill teachers and throw pipe bombs before evading police.

The plan would culminate in an attack on Avon and Somerset Police’s headquarters, where he would either plant and detonate pressure cooker bombs, before opening fire on staff with submachine guns or ambush officers and enter the building to let off explosives.

After this he planned to kill himself, the court was told.

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He signed off his detailed plans by saying: “This would make national news, even international as a endowment life member of the NRA they be possibly blamed for radicalizing me.

“But I’ve been like this way before I became an NRA member.

“But granted homemade guns don’t count it be brilliant it get (sic) every bit of anti-gun democrat milf going. That alone would be so cathartic!

“It has to happen, regardless.”

Wischhusen denied the plot and said it was all “fantasy” and he never had any intention of harming anyone.

Describing his writings, he told jurors: “It was a psychological release and feelings like I am getting back at people.

“It’s why people write their feelings down and tear it up and throw it away – just I forgot to throw it away. I got power over them by writing it down.”