Woman honored after reporting threat that helped stop Anderson Co. school shooting
A man police believe was planning an October 2018 attack on a Kentucky school was indicted Thursday on federal charges of threatening people.
A grand jury filed seven charges against Dylan Jarrell, 21, of Lawrenceburg.
One charge alleges Jarrell used the social-media platform Reddit to threaten to hurt people at a school in May 2018.
The indictment did not name the school, but state police said earlier that Jarrell had been a suspect in a threat against a Tennessee school in May.
The federal indictment said Jarrell sent a statement in that case saying “RIP DYLAN AND ERIC IM ABOUT TO DO IT BETTER THAN CHO.”
The indictment did not explain the remark, but Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris and Seung-Hui Cho carried out infamous school shootings — Klebold and Harris at Columbine High School in Colorado and Cho at Virginia Tech, killing dozens of students and others.
One of the other charges against Jarrell is that he initially lied to the FBI about using the Reddit account cited in the May 2018 threat.
The federal indictment also alleges Jarrell used Instagram and Facebook to make threats.
In September 2018, for instance, he allegedly sent a message to an unnamed victim saying “You deserve to be raped and killed [expletive] idiot response to me before I slide thru with them choppas.”
Jarrell used his phone to send the message from an Instagram account called “suicidal_idol_” to the victim’s account, the indictment charged.
The same day he allegedly sent another message saying “U deserve a beat down.”
The other charges allege Jarrell sent threatening messages last year and possessed an American Tactical Omni Maxx P3 Hybrid 5.56-caliber AR-15 rifle in connection with threats.
Kentucky State Police went to Jarrell’s house, a block away from Anderson County High School, last October after a New Jersey resident Koeberle Bull reported to police that Jarrell had sent harassing messages to her on Facebook.
The victims of Jarrell’s alleged threatening messages were identified in the indictment only by initials, but the initials of one were K.B.
That charge said that on Oct. 17, Jarrell sent threatening, racist messages over Facebook.
One read in part “There’s no such thing as white privileged you [expletive] autistic [expletive]. I hope your black children gets hung for you being so stupid.”
Police arrested Jarrell the next day.
Police stopped Jarrell as he was backing out of his driveway and found him with items necessary to carry out an attack, state police Commissioner Rick Sanders said at the time.
Police did not say which schools were allegedly at risk, but confirmed notifying Anderson and Shelby County schools of a threat.
In searching Jarrell’s home, police found “corroborating information that a threat was valid and imminent,” Trooper Josh Satterly said in an arrest citation.
Police said they found a gun, more than 200 rounds of ammunition, a Kevlar vest, a 100-round high capacity magazine, and a detailed plan of attack.
Police also said Jarrell’s internet history included searches on how to carry out a school shooting.
“There is no doubt in my mind that as a result of this investigation we saved lives,” Sanders said last October. “This young man had it in his mind to go to schools and create havoc. He had the tools necessary, the intent necessary, and the only thing standing between him and evil and doing evil is law enforcement.”
Jarrell faces up to five years in prison each on five federal charges, eight years on one, and a minimum of five years on the gun charge, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr.
Jarrell faces separate charges in state court of terroristic threatening and making harassing communications.
Defense attorneys reportedly said at one hearing that there is no proof Jarrell was going to carry out a school attack, calling it a “thought crime.”
Nathan T. Riggs, who represents Jarrell, said in one court motion Jarrell has a history of mental health issues, including anxiety and emotional behavior disability.
A judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation for Jarrell.