Teen Hero on "Today" Made it All Up

9/28/2006 8:30 PM PDT

Teen Hero on "Today" Made it All Up

BAILEY, Colo. (AP) -- A teen lied on national television about trying to stay with six girls taken hostage in a high school classroom because he "wanted so much to help them," his mother said Thursday.

Duane Morrison, 53, took the girls hostage at Platte Canyon High School on Wednesday, sexually assaulted some of them and killed one before committing suicide, authorities said.

Cassidy Grigg, 16, had told NBC's "Today" show that he was in a classroom when the gunman tapped him on the shoulder and told him to leave. His father, Tom, gave a similar account of his son's story to The Associated Press.

The teen said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that he told the gunman he wanted to stay and that "he told me that if I didn't go then he would pretty much kill me."

Larina Grigg said her son told her he had made up the story." He said, 'Mom, all those kids were my friends and I just wanted so much to help them. ... I guess I just made it up in my mind. I just wanted it to be true so bad,"' Larina Grigg said. She did not say whether her son had witnessed anything at the school or had heard details elsewhere.

Larina Grigg said her son had never lied to his parents before and called it "a blow." "This is a 16-year-old young man, and I'm telling you, it's taken some real guts to do this. He wants to make this right. This is his call," she said.

"He wants to tell everybody he's sorry, he made a mistake," she said.