Police arrived on campus at West Virginia University on Monday, August 27th to investigate reports of a potential mass shooter in the making. Two witnesses overheard Zachary Ryan Johnson, a 21-year-old student at the university, saying, “I honestly just feel like going home and getting my gun and killing everybody.” He continued, “I seriously just feel like doing a mass shooting.” While shooting threats happen frequently, it is very rare that the threat is committed with no veil of anonymity such as this.
Police acted quickly and apprehended the suspect just hours after the threats. Charged with “Making Threats of Terrorist Acts,” the suspect faces up to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. However, the local Dominion Post reports that the suspect is currently out on a $50,000 bond.
According to the same report, the chief of University Police, W.P. Chedester, has a zero-tolerance policy towards statements of this nature, regardless of if they are said jokingly. He said, “When statements like these are brought to our attention, we act quickly. We don’t take any chances, and that’s how we responded in this case.” Lastly, Chief Chedester has confirmed that there was no gun in the suspect’s vehicle, nor did the suspect claim to own one at all. Quick action on the part of witnesses and police is the surest way to prevent catastrophes, like this event could have been.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.