Teen allegedly planning school shooting buys rifle and ammunition with money his mother gave him for tattoo
A student accused of planning a high school shooting bought an AR-15 rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition with money his mother gave him to get a tattoo, police say.
Timothy Felker was arrested in February after he allegedly threatened to shoot classmates at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky.
The 18-year-old said he made the threats because he was bullied, but pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree terroristic threatening.
During a preliminary court hearing on Monday, Lexington police detective Sean Stafford said Mr Felker “purchased the AR-15 with money that his mum gave him for a tattoo, and that he also purchased 500 rounds of ammunition”.
At the time of his arrest, Mr Felker was not banned from owning guns, and had posted images on social media showing off his AR-15. One of the photos showed him with a gun in his mouth, according to local news channel WKYT.
Police were initially tipped off by a classmate on 16 February. According to court documents, the pupil said Mr Felker “owns a gun and constantly talks about killing himself/shooting up the school. He tells specific people he would shoot them first and then shoot up the classroom”.
Mr Felker flew out of town on 17 February, and was arrested on his return to Blue Grass Airport on 19 February after police obtained a mental health petition from a court.
He was sent to Eastern State Hospital for an evaluation before being placed under house arrest with an ankle monitor.
“I commend everyone involved, from the students who shared their concerns, to the adults who took those reports seriously and the multiple law enforcement agencies that worked swiftly to safeguard our students and staff,” Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk said.
Police said Mr Felker’s mother told them she was unaware of the threats, but that her son suffered from depression, suicidal thoughts and ADHD.
"Ms Felker stated that Timothy does have some anger problems but she could not see him being violent, and didn't feel like he would harm anyone else," Mr Stafford said.
The judge at Fayette County Court sent the case to a grand jury, citing probably cause.