A South Carolina man was charged Wednesday after threatening to shoot everyone at Harlan High School's graduation, police said.
A student at the high school received a text from a man he had known for five years through social media; the man's text said he would attend the May 19 graduation and shoot everyone, Kentucky State Police said in a release. The student showed the text to his principal, Britt Lawson, who alerted police.
Investigators determined the text came from 34-year-old Felix Melquinoes Martinez, who lives in Columbia, S.C., according to police.
He was arrested by a fugitive task force in his hometown and charged with second-degree terroristic threatening, according to Kentucky State Police. When Martinez was arrested at warehouse where he worked, he was in possession of a gun.
Martinez was taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in South Carolina and will be extradited back to Harlan County to face the charge, Kentucky State Police said.
Harlan Independent Schools thanked those involved in helping arrest Martinez. The district released a statement: "On behalf of the Harlan Independent School District, we want to thank all those involved in helping address these threatening comments so quickly.
"The work done by the Kentucky State Police was phenomenal. It is a testament to the diligence and dedication to address the ongoing threats made toward schools across the country.
"In less than 72 hours, the offender was identified and arrested despite the fact they were more than 300 miles away from Harlan.
"We cannot thank the Policing Agencies from Harlan County enough for the level of support and the response we have gotten when these issues arise in our school systems.
"This work demonstrates that we take all threatening comments seriously and will work with law enforcement officials to help resolve every incident regardless of where it originates.
"We encourage family and community members to remain vigilant in helping educate our children and others of the dangers of connecting with strangers through social media and online platforms. There are significant consequences to making irrational and inappropriate comments."