A teenager who admitted plotting a school attack near Philadelphia had chatted online about the Columbine massacre with a teenage outcast...
PHILADELPHIA — A teenager who admitted plotting a school attack near Philadelphia had chatted online about the Columbine massacre with a teenage outcast who killed eight people and himself in a high-school shooting in Finland, the Pennsylvania boy’s attorney said Monday.
But the teen was “horrified” when he found out about the Finnish attack and said he never would have suspected him of following through on a violent act, the attorney said.
Finnish police said material seized from the computer of Pekka-Eric Auvinen suggests the 18-year-old had communicated online with Dillon Cossey, 14, who was arrested in October for allegedly preparing an attack at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in suburban Philadelphia.
Cossey’s attorney, J. David Farrell, said he showed Auvinen’s online screen name to his client Monday and he remembered communicating with him about video games and the 1999 Columbine massacre in Colorado and exchanging videos they found on the Internet.
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“They had discussed certain video games and shared videos with each other,” Farrell said. “Obviously, Columbine was a shared topic of interest.”
Auvinen killed six students, a nurse and the principal Wednesday in Tuusula, about 30 miles north of the Finnish capital, Helsinki. He then shot himself in the head, and died hours later at a hospital.
Police in Finland said they had not yet been in contact with their U.S. colleagues about a possible link between the two teens.
In Pennsylvania, detectives were running the name of the Finnish shooter through the computer seized from Cossey.
“We had heard when we first got this guy that he had contacted other people through Web sites,” Plymouth Township Deputy Chief Joe Lawrence said. “We wouldn’t be shocked by it.”