PHILADELPHIA – A teenager who admitted plotting a school attack near Philadelphia had communicated 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 with 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 on suspicion of preparing an attack at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in suburban Philadelphia. The attack never took place.
Cossey’s attorney, J. David Farrell, said that he showed Auvinen’s online screen name to the Pennsylvania boy Monday and that his client remembered communicating with the Finnish teen in August or September about video games and the 1999 Columbine massacre in Colorado and exchanging videos they found on the Internet.
The two met through the YouTube video-sharing site, Farrell said. They also exchanged posts on a Web site dedicated to the Columbine killers, traded e-mails and likely chatted on certain Web sites, he said.
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.