School shooter left 8 letters saying goodbye

Posted at 11:11 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-27 07:41:19-05

Police are filling in the blanks about the murder-suicide at Independence High School by releasing new evidence and audio recordings of interviews with witnesses and friends of the two teens involved.

Dot Dutiel's family told ABC15 she left a goodbye note for her mom, but it turns out she wrote eight letters. Most were for family members and in each one, she assures everyone how much she loved them, tries to release them from any blame, expresses sorrow over leaving the family and encourages them to move on with their lives.

One of the notes talks about how much she loved her girlfriend May Kieu, but that she learned the weekend before that the feeling was no longer mutual and how devastated she was. As hurt as she was, the letter mentioned no plan to hurt Kieu.

The suicide note at the scene was actually addressed to first responders. In it, Dutiel takes full blame for her actions, writes that she is of sound mind and lists emergency contacts.

She also explains that she lied to another student to get the gun and makes it clear that the classmate had no idea what her intentions were. The County Attorney is still considering charging that student with a felony.

The police report says as detectives were preparing to notify the shooter’s family, they received a call that a note and loaded gun cartridge had already been found in Dutiel's room by her grandmother.  When investigators searched the home they found the rest of the letters.

Police recordings of interviews with the teen's friends, indicate there may have been red flags.

“She wasn't eating since like last week. She wasn't drinking and she wasn't sleeping," said one student who also explained an odd conversation she had the day before. "She just randomly asked me ‘Should I kill myself? And I didn’t' think anything of it because she was such a happy person."

Interviews with witnesses also reveal no one saw the actual shooting, only the two girls sitting together minutes before. Some said they saw the aftermath once the shots had already been fired.

One interview outlined in the police report is bringing up new questions. A student told police she witnessed a gun being handed off on campus the day before the murder-suicide. 

Based on descriptions, it was a different student being given that gun and showing it off. It wasn’t reported for fear of retaliation or causing alarm over something the student may have mistaken as a gun, but it underlines the importance of the "see something, say something" message.