Police: School Shooter Asked For Girls By Name

Published: Sep. 29, 2006 at 2:29 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2006 at 2:37 PM CDT
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Duane Morrison, 53, was identified as the gunman by police.
Duane Morrison, 53, was identified as the gunman by police.
Emily Keyes, 16, was used as a human shield before being shot.
Emily Keyes, 16, was used as a human shield before being shot.

BAILEY, Colorado (CNN) -- The gunman who shot and killed a high school student after holding her and five others hostage had asked for students by name, a Colorado police chief said Friday.

All six girls were molested by Duane Morrison, 53, Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener said, though he did not know if the hostages were the ones on Morrison's list.

Investigators were also checking rumors that Morrison may have researched his victims by looking at MySpace.com, an online community that allows users to post personal pages and network with friends, Wegener said.

Morrison sent a suicide note to a family member in Colorado, Wegener said, adding that police have traced one of two guns found with the suspect to the same relative.

Morrison shot 16-year-old Emily Keyes in the head as she tried to escape when SWAT teams burst into the Platte Canyon High School classroom where he were holding her and one other student. He had released the other four students one at a time Wednesday afternoon.

The suicide note may yield clues as to what led Morrison to the high school in Bailey, Colorado, Wegener said.

Wegener added that the six female hostages were "all molested, but I don't know how much or to what degree."

Wegener has said he ordered the classroom raid to end the three-hour standoff after hearing Keyes and the other hostage screaming.

Morrison had used Keyes as a human shield when the officers burst in. When she ran, he shot her in the back of the head, Joe Morales, executive director of Colorado's Department of Public Safety, told reporters Thursday.

Morrison then shot himself. When his body was removed from the classroom, authorities found a semi-automatic pistol and a revolver on him, the sheriff said.

Keyes was taken by helicopter to a Denver hospital where she was pronounced dead.

On Thursday police released her photo and the last text message she had tapped out to her family, as she was being held: "I love u guys."

Authorities have searched Morrison's car, in which he appeared to be living, the sheriff said.

Wegener said the suspect did not have much of a criminal history and only minor things were on his record.

Bailey is not far from Columbine, where two students killed 12 classmates and a teacher before killing themselves in 1999.

Mom: My son lied

A purported witness to the standoff said the gunman wanted to take only girls hostage, but the witness' mother said later her son was lying.

Cassidy Grigg, 16, told NBC's "Today" that the gunman fired a warning shot as he entered the classroom, then lined up the students in front of a chalkboard.

However, Grigg's mother said he was in a nearby computer lab when he heard the commotion. Grigg went to check it out but was turned away by his teacher, his mother said.

Larina Grigg elaborated to the Rocky Mountain News, saying her son "wants to say he's sorry. I know and he knows he made a huge mistake. He lost one of his dear friends."

She added that Grigg wanted to be a hero and "got caught up in the chaos" of television crews scrambling to interview him.

Grigg told "Today" that Keyes "was one of my first friends.

"She was always sweet, she always welcomed people," he said. "She was just friendly, she was a good person in general."