Man Arrested After Threatening Columbine-Style Shooting At Vinita School
VINITA, Oklahoma - Vinita Police say they arrested Ethan Charles after he threatened a Columbine-style shooting attack on Will Rogers Elementary school and an attack similar to the Oklahoma City bombing on the Craig County Courthouse.
Ethan Charles posted a Facebook video rambling about murders, saying he was tweaking out. That was minutes before he made another post threatening the school and the courthouse.
"He wanted to 'Columbine' Will Rogers and Will Rogers is our 3rd through 5th grade school. And he wanted to 'Timothy McVeigh' the courthouse," said Vinita Police Chief Bobby Floyd.
Someone reported the Facebook post to police and all four schools were immediately put on lockdown until they found Charles at his mother’s house in Chelsea.
It's disgusting. It is ridiculous. It is shocking because we live in such an amazing community," said Angelic Peetoom.
Peetoom has two daughters and a godson who go to Will Rogers Elementary.
She was at home when she got the alert on her phone of the threat. She says it made her sick to her stomach.
"I lived through both those events and just to dread the fact that somebody would refer to both of those and refer to Vinita in the same sentence, it just blows me away," said Chief Floyd.
The school district says they have done active shooter drills in the past and have increased security at the schools.
"Just to know that our police department acted so quickly it helps to really put our mind at ease. When the whole thing is over in about 20 or 30 minutes," said Vinita Public Schools Superintendent Kelly Grimmett.
Vinita Police and the school say this is a perfect example of why it is important if you see something, say something. Every threat needs to be taken seriously.