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Teen accused of trying to plan shooting at Leto High is granted bail

TAMPA — A teenager accused in August of saying he wanted to kill everybody he could at Leto High School was freed on bail Wednesday.

Austin James Cook, 18, must address alcohol and drug problems, adhere to a curfew and stay 5,000 feet from Leto. He is forbidden from playing video games, listening to music or watching movies or television shows with themes of violence, suicide or homicide.

Two doctors evaluated Cook, and prosecutors did not object to his request for bail. Circuit Judge Tom Barber set bail at $2,000 for each charge. He faces adult charges of solicitation to commit murder and threatening to discharge a destructive device.

Authorities said Cook tried to recruit someone to "break the record" of the Columbine and Virginia Tech school shootings on Nov. 11, 2011 — 11/11/11. The teen, who attended Leto last school year, threatened to blow it up, authorities said.

Deputies arrested him at his Town 'N Country home before classes began for the academic year. They seized a .22-caliber rifle, a bow and arrow and books about firearms. His mother said the rifle is an heirloom from his grandfather and the books reflected an interest in guns by a man considering the military.

Investigators also said his computer contained a Columbine video game and showed Cook made multiple inquiries about Columbine and Virginia Tech.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at azayas@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3354.

Teen accused of trying to plan shooting at Leto High is granted bail 10/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 11:35pm]
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