ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Anchorage high school student likely saved her Facebook friend's life Tuesday after she tipped off police that the boy, in an unnamed Interior Alaska town, planned to kill himself, Anchorage police said.
After getting the tip, police ultimately found the boy with a gun as he penned his suicide note, said Lt. Dave Parker, a spokesman for the Anchorage Police Department.
The search began when the girl, a freshman at Dimond High School, received a text message from the boy saying he was in the bathroom at his high school hundreds of miles from Anchorage with a gun to his head, police said. The girl told her school counselor, who notified a police officer at Dimond, and the officer immediately contacted authorities in the town where the boy lives.
Parker said he would not name the town or school, because doing so would make it possible for others to identify the boy.
The school was locked down and the bathrooms searched, with no sign of the boy. The girl, now in the officer's vehicle, continued her text message conversation, police said.
At the same time, officers went to find the suicidal boy's home. He had been suspended for having a type of synthetic marijuana, police said.
They found him at home writing a suicide note and holding a handgun, police said. He was taken to a hospital and is safe, Parker said.
Police credited the quick actions of the friend, along with Dimond High School counselor Jaime Boyd and the school's resource officer, Cyndi Addington, in preventing the boy's death.
It's common for distraught or suicidal people to cry out for help, Parker said, and those cries are increasingly coming from text messages and social networking, he said.
"If there's somebody there who can help touch them, help reach them, that can solve the problem," Parker said.