DELAWARE, OH (WCMH) — A student at Rutherford B. Hayes High School has been taken into custody after police say he made a threat to harm others.
According to the Delaware Police Department, Troy F. Ferguson, 18, a student at Hayes High School, was taken into custody after several other students came forward to inform school officials about a potential threat to cause harm to others.
A criminal complaint says the students overheard other students “describing tomorrow’s school shooting as a ‘bloodbath’” and heard one classmate telling another, “just don’t come to school tomorrow.”
Delaware Police Captain Adam Moore says this was a classic example of how the see something, say something philosophy can work. “Through those witnesses we were able to identify the student in question,” Moore said. “We made contact with that student. During that contact we were able to obtain some evidence and information that led us to believe that the threat was potentially credible.”
Moore declined to discuss specifics but the criminal complaint filed with the court says that Ferguson claimed the school shooting comments were not serious and he was just “joking”. But in a subsequent search of Ferguson’s car, police say they recovered a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun, air-soft pistol, rope, gas can and a wig and fake beard.
Captain Moore says there was enough to consider it a credible threat but there was no clear motive. “Ultimately,at the end of the day, we may or may not have an answer as to what would cause someone to make comments of this type or potentially do this type of harm,” Moore said.
School was canceled Thursday due to safety concerns and while police investigated.
Ferguson is currently being evaluated at a secure medical facility, according to police, and an arrest warrant alleging a felony count of inducing panic has been obtained for the teen.
After investigating, police say there is no information that any other persons or school facilities were involved in the threat.
Police continue to investigate and ask anyone with information on the incident to call the Delaware County Police Department at 740-203-1112.