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Prosecutors release videos of Jared Cano explaining Freedom High bomb plot plans

TAMPA — Jared Cano recorded videos on his cellphone, foreshadowing a horror that never happened.

The New Tampa teenager was arrested in August 2011, accused of plotting to bomb Freedom High School and go on a shooting rampage that authorities say Cano hoped would exceed the death tolls at Columbine and Virginia Tech.

On Monday, prosecutors released videos that Cano, then 17, recorded before his arrest. They portray an angry young man intent on explaining his plans to the world.

"What's up? I'm Jared Cano," he says, shirtless in his bedroom. "You guys probably know who I am by now. For those of you retards who don't know, I'm the Freedom High School shooter from Tampa, Florida. Well, I will be in a couple months."

He says he is recording the video so the government won't simply tell people he's crazy.

"Did I choose this? Did I choose to feel like this?" he asks. "No, that's just how I am. There's nothing I can do about it. There's nothing anybody can do about it, other than wait for it to unleash."

He says people should not blame his parents. Cano lived with his mother, who divorced his dad when the boy was young.

"Yeah, I had a f----- up childhood, and a lot of it was her fault, but I don't hold her against that, all right?" he says. "She made mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes."

Then he pulls out a notebook and says he wants to go over his plans. He turns to a drawing of Freedom's cafeteria and points to the four spots he plans to put bombs.

Then, he flips to a picture of the courtyard, then a drawing of the front office.

"Mr. Costanzo's office is right there. I've got to kill him," Cano says, pointing. "Ms. Carmody sits here. I've got to kill her.

"Mr. Pears is here, and I've got to make sure he doesn't die because I like him.

"… After that, it's time to just, you know, free for all," he says. "I plan to just walk to the parking lot and just shoot anyone there."

The video ends.

In the next video, Cano shows off a recipe for explosive chemicals.

In another, he shares his plans for using an alarm clock to create a detonator.

He sets an alarm for 7:26 a.m., the time he says he wants the bombs to go off. It starts beeping.

"Boom, b----," he says. "They're all destroyed."

In another video, he lights up a bowl of marijuana.

"I can't wait to die, dude," he says, before talking about how he may have recruited a friend to join in his plot.

Authorities have said that a friend Cano tried to recruit became alarmed and called police. That's how police were alerted to the plot. Officers set up a monitored call between Cano and his friend. Then they arrested Cano at his New Tampa apartment.

It's unclear if Cano is referring to the same person, but he says he's worried this friend will "snitch" on him.

"Hopefully it works out," Cano says.

In the fifth video, Cano focuses the camera on a newspaper he has set on fire. In it is an article about the Norway massacre.

"I'm going to do better than that," Cano says. "What he'd do? 72. … Columbine, Virginia Tech, none of them will beat me. I'll kill them all."

The paper continues to burn, curling up in a charred pile.

"This is a symbol of what you guys are going to feel," he said. "You don't even f------ know. 9/11, I don't even give a f---. I'm going to outdo every single one of them."

Cano has pleaded no contest to threatening to discharge a destructive device and attempting to make, possess, throw, place, project or discharge a destructive device with intent to harm.

His attorney has argued that Cano's threats were empty and that he did not possess the materials needed to carry out this plan.

A judge plans to sentence Cano on Dec. 5.

News researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3433.

Prosecutors release videos of Jared Cano explaining Freedom High bomb plot plans 11/19/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 4:02pm]
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