Just before the start of classes on the morning of January 28, a student at Standley Lake High School in Westminster, Colorado, walked into the school’s cafeteria and set himself on fire, reports The Denver Channel.
Through postings on social media from the teenager’s friends, his name has been revealed as Vince Nett.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He’s Reported to Have Drank a Bottle of Bleach
Nett suffered serious burns and had to be rushed to hospital after the fire he set was put out by quick-thinking cafeteria workers. The incident occurred at 7:12 a.m., according to reports. The Denver Channel goes on to report that prior to setting the fire, the boy drank a bottle of bleach and doused himself in a can of Coleman’s fuel. One student at the school, Leif Samson, told Fox Denver what he witnessed:
I saw this explosion happening in the lunch room.
Like everyone started running out screaming fire I just grabbed my backpack and ran upstairs and I looked out the windows overlooking the cafeteria and that’s when I found out it was a guy on fire.
Police declined to release the boys name as yet but his parents were quickly notified of the incident, reports 9 News.
2. His Actions Came as a Complete Shock to Some
One witness, who knew Nett, was completely shocked by his actions. The man, who was not named, said that Nett had been to his home be he never noticed anything wrong with him. Another neighbor of Nett’s, told The Denver Channel:
I’ve seen the boy, have shaken hands with the boy. I’ve watched him play with his siblings and his friends. Never very talkative but always polite. And it just surprises me that this would happen.
3. Police Don’t Think He Wanted to Hurt Anyone Else
— Antonio Sánchez (@AntonioAztecaCo) January 27, 2014
Police do not believe there was ever any threat to the school as-a-whole and are treating it as a suicide attempt. The school was cleared on January 28 with all classes canceled. Students were forbidden from bringing any belongings with them as the school was cleared. Classes will resume on January 29 with students able to avail of counselling.
According to Fox Denver, Nett is in hospital with burns on 80% of his body.
4. There May Have Been Clues on His Facebook Page
Cops are investigating several cryptic messages left by Nett on Facebook as a possible clue to his suicide attempt:
5. His Friends Are Remaining Strong For Him
Nett’s actions have led to an outpouring of emotion from his friends on social media.
I'm sorry for the friends and family of Vince Nett, this whole situations i just horrible #slhs
— Jamey Burky (@JBep712) January 27, 2014
God bless Vince Nett. My heart is so sad he didn't feel he could talk to anyone.
— Aria Wills (@AriaWills) January 27, 2014