SEATTLE -- Josh Warnock was described by school officials as an outgoing, usually responsible student who ended up in summer school after getting behind in his classwork.
But classmates said the 13-year-old had taken a dark turn recently. Students said he threatened peers and talked about shooting a teacher and then committing suicide.
On Tuesday, the teen surrendered quietly to sheriff's deputies a day after he allegedly terrorized classmates by firing a gun into the ceiling of Dimmitt Middle School's cafeteria.
Deputies seized a note Warnock had written to friends before the incident saying he would not be back home and that he loved his family, family members said.
Warnock was to appear in juvenile court Wednesday.
The teen was booked into a juvenile detention center in Seattle for investigation of assault with a firearm and reckless endangerment, prosecutor's spokesman Dan Donohoe said. Warnock also may be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.
''He's never had any problems with cops or anything,'' Warnock's grandmother, Edna Warnock, told KOMO-TV. ''He's a good kid, just flunking school.''
The teen apparently spent a chilly night ''hunkered down in woods'' near his grandparents' home in King County, about 10 miles south of Seattle, King County sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart said.
Warnock later led sheriff's deputies to the spot in the woods where he had left the .22-caliber handgun he allegedly used during the incident, Urquhart said. The handgun was believed to have been taken from the grandparents' home, police said.
Urquhart said the boy clambered onto a cafeteria table at about 10:30 a.m. Monday and shot a round into the ceiling. He allegedly held a gun to one student's head and ordered the other 50 students to get on the cafeteria's stage, but they scattered and ran. Moments later, he bolted from the room.
''A lot of people knew he was talking about it, but they didn't say anything because they didn't think he would really do it,'' Brittany Lamb, 14, said after the incident.
Warnock went to his grandparents' home Tuesday morning, and his mother called authorities saying he wanted to come forward, Urquhart said.
''Right now it's every police officer's nightmare -- kids with guns in school,'' Urquhart said. ''This worked out OK this time, because they all got out of the building and no one was hurt.''
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