Kentucky has had its history of school shootings. There was the tragedy at Heath High School back in 1997, and more recently, the Marshall County High shooting that brought the entire state together. Thanks to the Kentucky State Police and a New Jersey woman, the Bluegrass State narrowly avoided yet another round of heartbreak and loss.
On Thursday, a 20-year-old Lawrenceburg man was stopped by the Kentucky State Police as he was backing out of his driveway. It is believed that he was on his way to Anderson County High School, only a block from his house. The man, found with a firearm, 200 rounds of ammunition, a bullet-proof vest, and a 100-round magazine, was charged with terroristic threatening and harassing communication, the Courier-Journal reports.
How was he caught? A tip from a New Jersey woman alerted authorities to the potential shooter’s plans.
After receiving “racially motivated” harassment messages from the man, the woman contacted the Kentucky State Police to launch an investigation. CBS reports that local and federal authorities assisted with the investigation, finding multiple threats toward individuals at the high school on his phone, as well as a horrific Internet search result: “how to successfully conduct a school shooting.”
In the same CBS report, Kentucky State Police Commissioner Richard Sanders said “There’s no doubt in my mind that as a result of this investigation, we saved lives. He had the tools necessary, the intent necessary, and the only thing that stood between him and evil is law enforcement.” Sanders specifically praised trooper Josh Satterly, who received the tip from the New Jersey woman.
Anderson County Schools did not hold classes Thursday, but the suspect is now under investigation and potentially facing federal charges.