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Mom Reporting Racist Facebook Messages May Have Prevented A School Massacre

Police in Kentucky say Dylan Jarrell had a gun, more than 200 rounds of ammunition and a "detailed plan of attack" when they arrested him after receiving a complaint from a New Jersey woman who said he'd left racist threats against her family on Facebook. 

By Jill Sederstrom

A woman who reported receiving racist messages on her Facebook page may have thwarted a school shooting hundreds of miles away.

Kentucky State Police said it was the woman's tip that led them to investigate Dylan Jarrell, 20. They apprehended him Thursday as he was pulling out of his driveway with a firearm, more than two hundred rounds of ammunition, a Kevlar vest and a "detailed plan of attack," in his possession at the time, according to a statement from police.

Police said he was arrested after they discovered a "credible and imminent threat" to the Shelby and Anderson County schools in Kentucky.

"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 a press conference Friday. "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, between him and schools doing evil is law enforcement."

The investigation began after police received a complaint from New Jersey resident Koeberle Bull, who had received several racist messages on Facebook from a stranger who had wished her three African-American children would die, according to CNN.

The poster said he hoped her "black children get hung up for you being so stupid," she later told the Washington Post. Other messages allegedly called her a "wanna be black woman" and said "please you and your monkey children go die."

"I was in shock, I was disgusted, I was angry and hurt," Bull told CNN.

Although she didn't know the man, she saw a gun in his profile picture and decided to contact police in New Jersey and Kentucky.

After being contacted last week, the Kentucky State Police began to investigate and coordinated with other federal and local authorities.

Just a day later, on Thursday, they went to question Jarrell and discovered the credible threat to schools in two Kentucky counties and what Sanders described as "evil" intentions. After making the discovery, police arrested him and charged him with two counts of second-degree terroristic threatening and one count of harassing communications.

Sanders commended law enforcement for their quick response in the investigation, which he said is ongoing.

"We often hear from the community, 'Well, why should I call the police, you guys aren't going to do anything about it.' This is an example of how when you call the police and we work closely together, we do something about it," he said at the press conference.

The arrest and accusations against Jarrell have left Bull shocked and shaken.

"I must say I didn't see this coming but thank God I went with my gut," she wrote on her Facebook page.

[Photo: Shelby County Detention Center]

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