SAN DIEGO — An 18-year-old Maryland man was arrested Friday night for allegedly sending threatening computer messages to two teenage girls in Santee after Monday's shooting rampage that left two dead and 13 wounded, officials announced.
Patrick Andrew Smith was arrested in his parents' home in Walkersville, Md., a suburb of Baltimore, at the same hour a memorial service was underway at Sonrise Community Church in Santee for Randy Gordon, 17, and Brian Zuckor, 14.
Smith allegedly sent instant messages to a student at Santana High School and one to a student at West Hills High, warning them not to go to school because he planned to "finish what Andy didn't complete."
Charles Andrew Williams, 15, is charged with firing more than 30 shots at Santana High as school opened Monday, picking targets at random.
On Friday afternoon, Williams' family issued a statement offering condolences to the victims and their relatives and saying that the family "would like all of you to know that they were horror-stricken by the events . . . and they remain shocked and confused.'
The statement, issued by the San Diego public defender's office, which is representing Williams, offered no clue about the boy's motives.
Also on Friday, more than 2,500 people, including Gov. Gray Davis and his wife, Sharon, a 1972 graduate of Santana High, filled the Sonrise Community Church in a tribute to the two slain teenagers.
"No harm should ever befall anyone in school," Davis said. "No one should ever bring a gun to school. These young boys were taken from us by an act of unspeakable evil."
The governor urged parents to "replace a culture of violence with a culture of values."
Country-western singer Dennis Agajanian sang to the gathering. He also performed at a memorial for victims of the shootings at Columbine, where 14 students and a teacher died in 1999.
At the Santee memorial, a grief-stricken Santana High principal Karen Dejisher said only, "I don't understand why this happened."
Although Williams lived about 20 miles from Walkersville, Md., for several years, authorities said they have discovered no connection between him and Smith.
Smith is also suspected of sending a threatening computer message to a student at Columbine High School on Tuesday, similar to those sent to the Santee teenagers.
Although the messages did not provide a name or return address, they were traced to Smith by a multi-agency task force set up in San Diego six months ago to investigate computer and other technology crimes in San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties.
Authorities declined to say whether other threatening electronic messages are being investigated.
"These people [in Santee] have been traumatized enough," said San Diego County Undersheriff Jack Drown. "We're not going to stand by and let people act like it's a sick joke without taking action against them."
Smith will face charges in Maryland and California. By sending an instant message, he lured the girls into a computer chat, authorities said. The two incidents took place near midnight Wednesday.
He was arrested without incident by Maryland state police under an arrest warrant secured by the San Diego County district attorney's office. The family home and the home of a relative were searched.
Authorities said they discovered no connection between Smith and the two Santee teenagers nor any evidence that he had ever visited Santee. He apparently picked the two out by searching their computer profiles, in which they mentioned going to school in Santee.
The threats were reported by the teenagers' parents, leading authorities on a computer sleuthing venture that required subpoenas and a search of a mail server in Katy, Texas, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Mike Groch, project director of the computer task force.
"He had taken steps to mask who he was and where he was," Groch said.