A friend of a Tampa teenager who has been arrested for allegedly planning to bomb his former high school is defending him.
The unnamed friend spoke to ABC Action News in Tampa, Florida and said that 17-year-old Jared Cano was "just venting" when he wrote about bombing Freedom High School.
Cano was suspended from FHS in March of 2010. He was expelled the following month for an off-campus burglary he committed.
"He wouldn't go and do something like that. He'd say he's going to in the heat of the moment but that's his way of venting, I guess," Cano's friend told ABC Action News.
The two were planning to play video games on Tuesday, but then Cano was arrested while his friend was in the house, ABC Action News reported. Initially, his friend thought Cano was being arrested for marijuana possession, which happened before.
Police say that Cano has an extensive criminal record. He once broke into a house and stole a firearm. Charges were not pressed, but police regularly checked in on the teen due to his troubled past, the Associated Press reported.
"We've been very, very familiar with him," police major John Newman said, the Web site FloridaToday.com reported.
Cano was arrested on Tuesday after an anonymous tipster told police about the alleged plot. Police said on Wednesday that they found bomb-making material in his room but no firearms.
"The number of casualties they could have caused, the bomb team described it as serious injury including death," Tampa police chief Jane Castor said.
Cano faces charges of threatening to throw, project, place or discharge a destructive device, possession of bomb-making materials, cultivation and possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police said they also found drawings of rooms inside of the high school and notes on who Cano planned to kill on Aug. 23, the first day of school.