A suspicious mom who followed her instincts helped prevent a mass school shooting.
On Wednesday, Koeberle Bull of Lumberton, N.J., woke up to a racist message on Facebook from a man in Kentucky. “It was really vulgar — he called my kids the N-word and hoped terrible things for them,” Bull tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
The mom of three biracial children, ages 16, 11, and 8, was especially concerned about the man’s profile picture in which he showed off a gun, so, going on a “gut feeling,” she called her local police station and filed a report. “But I felt like it wouldn’t really go anywhere, so I posted a screenshot of the message on Facebook,” she says.
The man had blocked Bull. However, her friends dug around for details about his identity, and Bull soon had enough information to share with the police in Lawrenceburg, Ky. “I spoke to Officer Josh Satterly, who told me, ‘There’s no room for this kind of hate in my world,” she says. “He took me seriously.”
Local and state police followed the mom’s tip, and on Thursday, officers drove to the home of a 20-year-old man named Dylan Jarrell, just as he was leaving his house with more than 200 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, a firearm, a 100-round high-capacity magazine, and a “detailed plan of attack.” He was headed toward two school districts in Anderson County and Shelby County, the Kentucky State Police said in a press conference Friday.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that as a result of this investigation, we saved lives,” Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders said during the press conference. “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 that stood between him and evil … is law enforcement,” he added.
When police searched Jarrell’s home, they found an internet search history on “How to conduct a school shooting” and a “credible and imminent threat to Shelby and Anderson County schools,” according to a press release. Police also revealed that in May, Jarrell had been questioned by the FBI regarding social media threats toward a Tennessee school.
Jarrell was charged with two counts of second-degree terroristic threatening and one count of harassing communications and is being held in the Shelby County Detention Center.
Sheila Mitchell of Anderson County Public Schools tells Yahoo Lifestyle that classes were closed on Friday due to concern for student safety. “I commend [Bull] for her courage and willingness to follow through on the threat and the collaborative efforts of local and state law enforcement. We’re very blessed and grateful.”
Bull has received grateful invitations to visit families from all over the country and says the timing of the arrest was “divine intervention.”
She also encourages people to report social media messages of concern. “That one-in-a-million call could prevent a tragedy,” Bull tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I’m thankful everyone is OK.”
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