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By Felix Adamo / The Californian
BY RACHEL COOK Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
A search warrant for the Facebook profiles of three students at the center of the Taft Union High School shooting in January revealed that the suspected shooter penned a gory story about murder.
In a probable cause statement requesting a judge's permission to obtain Bryan Oliver's Facebook postings, a Kern County Sheriff's Office detective wrote that his investigation led him to a lengthy "poem" that "describes the killing of several people by torture and other morbid means."
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On the day of the shooting, classmates and a friend of Oliver's said he was bullied by other students and that he talked about killing people. Students and parents have said that he was suspended briefly last year after he made a hit list.
School officials have refused to comment on those accusations, citing confidentiality rules.
During the investigation of the shooting, Detective Kavin Brewer learned that Oliver had posted a poem called "phycopath" online, according to the warrant. Brewer created a profile on the site allpoetry.com and found the story "Phycopath" by user "bryoliver96."
The story, which was posted in June, details the tribulations of a bullied high school student who slaughters his former tormentors as an adult.
Peers torment the abused main character, "Demian," pretending to befriend him to gain his trust only to use "that to destroy him."
"In school (Demian) couldn't make any friends at all no matter how much he tried. It soon seamed [sic] that everyone that looked at him became determined to make his life hell," the story said.
At graduation in the story, bullies douse Demian with a bucket of goat's blood. Later, after a tour of duty in Iraq and stint in law school, Demian kills the student who tipped the bucket by drowing the bully in the blood of his family members. Demian continues to murder his persecutors in ways that echo their past harassment, including dropping one couple into a pit lined with giant thumbtacks.
Between the scenes of torture, Demian marries a woman who shares his interest in the Industrial Revolution and they have a child. The poem culminates violently when Demian locks his former classmates in a gym during their high school reunion and juggles knives until he makes a cartoon reference and tosses a blade into an onlooker's neck.
Brewer's statement said investigators wanted copies of Oliver's Facebook account information including friends and correspondences to see if he mentioned "killing people or committing shootings, assaults with weapons or other crimes in schools or against specific individuals at the Taft Union High School."
Oliver was identified as the suspect in the shooting by 26 students who were in the classroom when Oliver reportedly opened fire, according to the warrant filed in Kern County Superior Court.
Less than a week after the shooting, a judge granted the detective's request to order Facebook to turn over all information from the accounts of Oliver, Bowe Cleveland, who was critically wounded in the Jan. 10 shooting, and Jacob Nichols, "the second intended target of the shooting."
The detective's probable cause statement said that several students who were in the classroom during the shooting said that Cleveland and Nichols had picked on Oliver before.
The Facebook records were received and stored by the Sheriff's Office, according to documents filed last week to show what the search warrant produced.
Oliver has pleaded not guilty to five felony charges including attempted murder. Oliver's attorney, David Torres, declined to comment on the new information. Prosecutors also declined to comment.
"At this time, the Kern County District Attorney's office has no comment on the situation because it's a pending case," said Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman.
Cleveland's family has filed a claim against the Taft Union High School District alleging that administrators should have known or knew that Oliver was dangerous. Oliver's next court hearing is in May.
The profile for "bryoliver96" on the poetry website described the author as a "16 year old guy from California," who is playing video games if he isn't writing.
"My motto is: Always eat the cat," the profile said.