by: Lee Stoll Updated:
GRANITE FALLS, Wash. - A 17-year-old student accused of posting threats to kill and blow up Granite Falls High School said he was just expressing himself.
The threats were still made Thursday night when the user posted another list of students to kill.
"This is a surprise for me," Luis Torres, who said his son Alberto Torres is a good brother and student. The pair even talked about the school threats.
“We tell them every day, isn't it awful, this problem, but he never mention nothing," said the father.
Authorities said Alberto, a high school junior, started posting anonymous threats on the social site Ask.fm in December. The user said he would kill 100 students and 6 teachers by name.
"He's always been a real nice kid, super smart too, super smart," said Jacob Parish, who grew up with Torres.
His name was on a kill list posted Thursday.
"I first thought, 'What did I do wrong to this kid?' and then I just kind of got worried," said Parish.
The school district posted officers in hallways between class periods for nearly a month. Students were kept indoors for lunch. Parents kept eight students on the kill list home for several days.
"Having threats in schools is not brand new but they used to be written on the bathroom wall or a note. Now, it comes from this massive social media." Said Granite Falls Superintendent Linda Hall.
Local detectives and the FBI contacted the site, based in Latvia. They traced the registered user’s address to Torres’s home. Officers, including the State Patrol bomb squad, showed up with a search warrant Thursday night.
According to court papers, Alberto confessed and was taken to juvenile detention in Everett. He told officers he never meant to hurt anyone and posted the messages as a way to “express” himself. Officers did not find guns or explosives in the house.
Luis Torres said he hasn’t had a computer in the house for two years but Alberto does have a phone with Internet access. Alberto will be formally expelled when he is released from detention.