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Student admits he lied to TV news shows
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The 16-year-old student who told the Today Show this morning that he was in a Platte Canyon High School classroom when Duane Morrison took 6 students hostage yesterday made up the story, his mother said this afternoon.

Cassidy Grigg told the Today show this morning: "You could tell that he wanted the females. He tapped me on the shoulder and he told me to leave the room. I told him, "I don't want to leave."

But it never happened, according to his mother, Larina Grigg.

"Cassidy has never been dishonest in his life, but in this matter he wasn’t truthful," she said Thursday afternoon. "He was not in the room with the kids. He wants to say he’s sorry. I know and he knows he made a huge mistake. He lost one of his dear friends."

She said he "wanted to be a hero" but amid television crews scrambling to interview him about what he experienced, he "got caught up in the chaos." The mother said he "feels awful" about it and that's why he wanted to come forward and set the record straight.

Other students at the school say they did see Morrison, who killed a student and then himself yesterday, sitting in a car in the school parking lot an hour before the attack began.

Two girls at the high school said they saw Morrison sitting in his Jeep drinking what appeared to have been liquor an hour before he entered the school around 11:30 a.m.

Senior boys Roman Tucker and Bobby Wright also said they were leaving the school around 10:45 a.m. yesterday when they saw a man in a yellow Jeep in the parking lot.

The man looked at them but didn’t acknowledge them.

Morrison, 53, killed 16-year-old Emily Keyes and then took his own life yesterday after a standoff with law officers.

His windows were rolled up and the back of the Jeep was filled with junk, they said.

"He just stared at us and went back to looking at the school. He looked really mad," Tucker said.

When he saw the photo of Morrison this morning, Tucker said it was the same man.

"I was like, whoa, that’s the guy," he said.

Morrison was described as a loner who had been living in his Jeep. He was from the Denver area but was believed to have been camping out near Bailey prior to the assault.

Morrison, who killed himself when SWAT officers stormed the room, selected six girls and held them hostage, sexually assaulting some, before letting four go.

"He traumatized and assaulted our children, Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener said. "I'll only say that it’s sexual in nature."
What Grigg, 16, told the Today Show was that the man walked in, fired a warning shot at the floor and ordered the students to line up. He told some to leave and others — all girls — to stay.

"You could tell that he wanted the females," Cassidy said. "He tapped me on the shoulder and he told me to leave the room. I told him, ‘I don't want to leave.’

"He told me that if I didn't go then he would pretty much kill me," Cassidy told ABC’s "Good Morning America." He said he wanted to stay "because I’m sure the girls would have felt more support if there would have been some males in the class with them."

Morrison had six to nine rows of tables between him and the door and was holding the two remaining girls, armed with a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol.

He negotiated with Park County sheriff’s negotiators during most of the afternoon, then set a 4 p.m. deadline for them to get out of the school.

Wegener said he believed the time had come to make a move and gave the SWAT officers the go-ahead to break through the door and end the situation.

When they did, Morrison fired on the officers. Keyes started to run for safety and he shot her in the back of the head before turning the weapon on himself.

Wegener said SWAT officers fired several shots at Morrison. It is not yet revealed if any of them hit him.

State records indicate Morrison was arrested in July in Lakewood on a charge of obstructing police in another suburb. He also was held for larceny and marijuana possession in 1973.

Reached at their home in Tulsa, Okla., Morrison's stepmother said she and her husband, Bob Morrison, ''have no record of him being, having any trouble before.''

''We just know the way he was raised,'' Billie Morrison said, declining to elaborate. She said the last time she saw him was three to four years ago.

Keyes played volleyball and was on the high school debate team.

She was pronounced dead at St. Anthony Central Hospital, reminding many of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High, less than an hour's drive away.

Wegener has a son in the high school and a daughter that graduated from there last year.

''This is something that has changed my school, changed my community,'' said Wegener, a 36-year resident of Bailey. ''My small county's gone.''

Wegener said Morrison made few demands. "Most of the demands were, ‘Leave me alone, get out of here,’" he said.
Asked about his decision to storm the classroom, Wegener said:

''Being a sheriff in a small community, knowing all the parents, knowing the kids, it is very difficult. Because I’d want whoever was in my position to do the same thing. And that is to save lives," he said.

Morrison began the takeover by ordering students to line up at the chalkboard as he tapped each with his gun and told them to stay or go, a student in the classroom said.

"We are a community in mourning," schools superintendent Jim Walpole said. "Our thoughts, our prayers are with our students, staff and their families. Especially the family of the student we lost."

Residents gathered quietly this morning at the Cutthroat Cafe, where Keyes had been a waitress for about two years, to grieve and remember, said Bobbi Sterling, a waitress and cook there.

"It’s very sad here. You know, the family lost their daughter but as a community, we lost a child," she said. "We’re just sitting here, numb and in shock. We're all just kind of stunned. People are here for mutual support."

Wegener was at a loss to explain a motive.

"I don’t know why he wanted to do this," Wegener said, his voice breaking.

School was canceled for the rest of the week at the high school and the adjoining middle school in this tiny mountain town.

The lines of students fleeing the schools, the bomb squads and the frantic parents scrambling to find their loved ones evoked memories of the Columbine attack, where two students killed 13 people before taking their own lives.
Michael Owens, who has one son at the middle school and another in the high school, said the anxiety was worse because the memory of Columbine was still fresh.

"Things that are out of your control, you just do what you can do," he said. "It’s like an earthquake."

News staffers Felix Doligosa and Sara Burnett and the Associated Press contributed to this story

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