Teen Who Threatened to "Shoot Up" Schools Obsessed With Columbine: Affidavit

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Torrington Police say Natalie Carpenter was planning Columbine style attacks at Danbury and Stratford High Schools. According to the arrest warrant, she was mad about getting bullied, so she planned to take dozens of lives. (Published Tuesday, Apr 1, 2014)

    The 18-year-old accused of threatening to “shoot up” high schools in Danbury and Stratford is obsessed with the shootings at Columbine and wanted to recreate them, a friend told police, according to the arrest warrant application.

    Natalie A. Carpenter, of Main Street in Torrington, was arrested March 4 after allegedly making verbal threats against Danbury High School and Bunnell High School in Stratford.

    Carpenter's mother, Wendy, told police that Carpenter attended both schools and was bullied there, the affidavit says.

    A warrant has also been issued for the arrest of Carpenter's boyfriend, 19-year-old Peter Thulin, according to police.

    The arrest warrant application says two of the teens' friends reportedly overheard them making plans to reenact the Columbine shooting at Danbury High School while spending time at an apartment in early March.

    Carpenter, Thulin and their friends had been living at the Hope House, at 383 Main Street in Torrington, a group home for the mentally ill, the affidavit says.

    Her mother, Wendy, told police Carpenter suffered from a variety of mental health issues, including mood disorder, personality disorder, ADHD and depression, and had cut herself and attempted suicide, document show.

    She said Carpenter had not been taking her medication, and that she became obsessed with the shootings at Columbine High after seeing a movie about the shootings a year ago, according to the affidavit.

    Wendy Carpenter added that her daughter wanted to shoot herself in a school so bullies would understand the consequences of their actions but said Natalie Carpenter would never hurt anyone else, the application says.

    But one of Carpenter's friends said Carpenter and Thulin planned to hold students and staff hostage and shoot “until everyone was dead,” adding that Carpenter had warned them not to tell authorities about the plan, according to the application.

    Carpenter and Thulin both admitted to watching videos on the Columbine shootings but said they had no plans to harm anyone. Thulin told police it was “all a big joke,” the application says.

    School officials said Carpenter had a manifesto in her home that described her plan to carry out a school shooting.

    Authorities searching Carpenter’s apartment found a book titled “Ceremonial Violence: A Psychological Explanation of School Shootings” and handwritten notes calling the Columbine shooters heroes and explaining that Carpenter wanted to follow in their footsteps, the affidavit says.

    In the notebook, Carpenter wrote that the Sandy Hook school shooting was “uncalled for” and that “high schoolers are the ones who deserve to get shot.” She included a list of weapons she would need to carry out the attack, according to the application.

    Days before the threats were made, Carpenter reportedly tried to buy a shotgun at a Torrington gun dealer and filled out an application at Walmart when she was denied. She allegedly expressed interest in a 12-gauge shotgun, according to the arrest warrant application.

    Carpenter admitted trying to buy the gun and told police she would pay half in cash and use her food stamp card to cover the rest, the affidavit says.

    Wendy Carpenter told police she had expressed concern about her daughter’s welfare and reached out to a psychiatrist who said “Carpenter needs to make decisions on her own and understand the negative consequences of making bad decisions,” according to the application.

    Carpenter is charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and criminal attempt at first-degree assault.

    Thulin will be charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit assault and criminal attempt to commit first-degree assault.

    Carpenter is currently in protective custody at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. Police said Thulin is also being held at a health care facility, but did not specify which.

    Police said after the arrests that no schools were ever in imminent danger.

    The public defender representing Carpenter did not return a request for comment.