Federal agents in Oklahoma arrested a suspect Monday afternoon who was believed responsible for an online threat of mass violence against Casper.

The arrest rounded off a day of local school lockdowns and countywide warnings that had residents and businesses on edge.

The anonymous online threat specified Casper as its target, and detailed what local law enforcement called a “nontraditional” plan of attack. The threat referenced the use of kitchen knives, several firearms, a wooden stake made out of hickory and the author’s truck “if the opportunity arises.”

Reports of the online threat — posted on a message board-style website — began flooding the Casper Police Department about 7 a.m. Monday, according to Sgt. Deahn Amend.

The resulting police investigation prompted a Natrona County School District “Level 2” lockdown that lasted about an hour, during which schools operated business as usual with locked entrances and exits. By 10 a.m., the police department reported the lockdown lifted, and the school day continued with “heightened awareness,” according todirector of student support services Dean Braughton

By about 1:30 p.m., Casper police responding to inquiries on the department’s public information line were reporting the threat as “lifted.” The Casper Police Department reported the Oklahoma arrest shortly before 4 p.m., saying in a press release, “We do feel confident that the threat has been handled.”

Federal agents in Oklahoma apprehended the suspect, who is believed to have no ties to Wyoming. Officials believe the anonymous post was randomly directed toward Casper, according to the release.

Natrona County Emergency Management officials activated the county’s CodeRED community notification system about 9:40 a.m. Monday, alerting roughly 30,000 county residents and businesses of the potential threat via automated phone calls, text messages and emails. The message included the police investigation and countywide school lockdown, and directed questions to a police department public information line.

Emergency Management Coordinator Lt. Stewart Anderson said his department decides on a “case-by-case basis” when and how to use the CodeRED alert system. Anderson said his department used the system during Casper’s Sheepherder Hill fire in 2012, and that it’s “one more way to get out some information to the public.”

Details on the arrest were slim Monday, as Amend declined to release further information until a Tuesday morning press briefing.

“We don’t know if it’s a serious threat, or if it’s somebody thinking this is a clever act. But we do take these things seriously,” Amend said.

Reach county reporter Leah Todd at 307-266-0592 or leah.todd@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter @leahktodd.

(8) comments

Synergizerer
Synergizerer

So it was reported around 7am. Police didn't take care of the guy until 4pm. It took them 9 hours to track the guy down. What if this wasn't a hoax? This is just icing on the cake considering gun control. I know we cant depend on the police to keep everyone safe even if they all have new cars. All they will be able to do is react. By then it will be too late. We need MORE armed citizens around. Anyone with proper training and a small handgun can stop a murderous thug. Liberals with the anti-gun push are idiots. I refuse to let Casper turn into Chicago.

CommonSense_WY
CommonSense_WY

Yeah, it took them a FEW HOURS to track down an ANONYMOUS THREAT MADE OVER THE INTERNET. Sounds like you're the idiot here. Perhaps if we did more to keep guns out of the hands of the sort of mental defective who would make this sort of threat, people wouldn't be as jumpy. Of course, we wouldn't want to do anything to infringe on this nutball's 2nd Amendment rights.... that would be unAmerican, wouldn't it? Moron.

Synergizerer
Synergizerer

Typing in caps huh? Isnt that like yelling? Do you really think you need to yell to get your busted ass point across? If you had any idea at all what you were talking about, you never would have made that last comment. Here is a link that will provide you with a little reading. Try educating yourself before you speak. It will prevent you from looking like a complete idiot. http://bit.ly/VHGo2M

You want more gun control? That great! Lets start with enforcing the laws we already have! That way when people cant actually buy a gun, they will just go steal them. I will even provide you with another link for proof of this. I know how you are completely unable to do any research on your own. http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/home-targeted-for-gun-robbery-was-on-controversial

Its time for a name change. I think NoCommonSense_WY fits you pretty well.

CommonSense_WY
CommonSense_WY

Believe me, I am well aware of the usage of IP address tracking. What you fail at comprehending (among many things, I'm sure), is the process involved... not only in getting the IP, but coordinating the appropriate law enforcement agencies, getting a warrant, etc. Try googling that, as that seems to be your sole source of cognizant reasoning. Again... moron.

N3crix
N3crix

Terrorists are still winning it seems...

chuck64
chuck64

Happy this idiot was caught. The fact that he was in Oklahoma is prob why it took longer to arrest him. I am sure they knew who he was before the arrest. Idiots like that may have had many agendas.... could have been some crazy right wing or could have been some crazy left wing wanting to give gun owners a bad name by trolling this crap.... or maybe he was just crazy. If he had wanted to kill people he would have done it with or without guns. Sadly Casper experienced a double murder suicide without guns at Casper College recently...That however doesn't make much noise nationally as it does not fit the agenda to disarm the non-criminal populace. This guy was caught and I thank the local police force for protecting our children and the feds for actually catching this idiot.

WyEMSChick
WyEMSChick

For those of you yelling "GUN CONTROL" the threat has been all over...read it. His intent was to create harm using knives, axes, bats, and his vehicle to prove to the government that you can kill people without using a gun. He stated he had guns, however, also stated that he did not intend on using them. It was his way of proving that other items, not just guns, kill people. And yes, I have and carry my gun...because of stupid people like this guy!

nls
nls

The police advised all school do a lock down just to be safe.. Casper College chose not too. I am really shocked they would not do a lock down with what happened there, Was that not enough to open you eyes and see it can happen any time any where.

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