New Jersey mom reports racist Facebook message, thwarts school shooting in Kentucky

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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New Jersey Woman Reports Racist Facebook Comment, Thwarts School Shooting Plot

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A New Jersey woman who "went with (her) gut" and reported a racist and threatening message a man sent about her biracial children is being credited with thwarting a school massacre the man had planned.

Kentucky State Police investigators looking into the Facebook message Dylan Lee Jarrell is accused of sending to Koeberle Bull found Jarrell backing out of his driveway Oct. 18. Jarrell had in his possession a firearm, more than 200 rounds of ammunition, a Kevlar vest, a 100-round high-capacity magazine and a "detailed plan of attack," according to Sgt. Josh Lawson, commander of the Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Office.

Jarrell, who turned 21 Saturday while in police custody, has been charged with two counts of second-degree terroristic threatening and one count of harassing communications, Lawson said Friday during a news conference. Jarrell is being held in the Shelby County Jail.

Lawson said Kentucky troopers received a complaint Oct. 17 from Bull about the harassment from Jarrell. Bull told WKYT in Lexington that she woke up that morning to find a Facebook notification from the man, whom she had never met or interacted with before.

She posted the message on her Facebook timeline for "anyone who thinks racism doesn't exist."

In an expletive-laden private message, someone identified as Jarrell told Bull she “wanna be a negro so bad” and that there is “no such thing as white privileged.”

“I hope your black children gets hung for you being so stupid,” the message read. “They have all the same rights we have now a days so please you and your monkey children go die.”

He went on to tell Bull to “act (her) race.”

Bull, 40, is white. Her late husband was black. Her Facebook profile photo shows her with her three children, ages 16, 11 and 8.

"Something in the back of my head was, like, 'This isn't right, like, something's not sitting well,'" Bull told the news station.

Jarrell had blocked Bull from seeing his account after sending the message, but Bull got friends to look and see where the man lived. His account showed he lived in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

Bull picked up the phone and, after reporting the harassment to her local police department, called Kentucky state troopers.

Investigators, led by Trooper Josh Satterly, went to Jarrell’s home the following day around 2:30 p.m. and found him just as he was leaving.

"Troopers interviewed him in regards to the online threats and, through their investigation, found evidence of a credible and imminent threat to Shelby and Anderson county schools," Lawson said.

Investigators worked with administrators at both school districts to form a plan of action to keep the children safe until the totality of the threat was determined. The Washington Post reported that schools across Anderson County were closed Friday, and officials in Shelby County, where students were on fall break, suspended all extracurricular activities at the high school.

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Search warrants were executed on Jarrell's home and electronic devices, on which investigators found at least one internet search on "how to successfully conduct a school shooting," Lawson said.

The Post reported that it was unclear why Jarrell would have targeted specific schools, which have not been named by state police officials. Jarrell lives next door to Anderson County High School and was a student at Shelby County High School before dropping out in 2013, The Anderson News reported.

The local newspaper also reported that Jarrell admitted to sending the messages to Bull, as well as to making past threats of committing a school shooting. He had been a potential suspect in the previous threats, the News reported.

Watch the Kentucky State Police news conference below.

In speaking about the work that went into stopping last week’s imminent threat, Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders refused to speak of the suspect by name.

"I won't glamorize him for this evil deed that he's done," Sanders said.

Instead, he focused on the collaboration between the agencies and investigators involved, who stopped Jarrell before he could harm anyone.

"There is no doubt in my mind, as a result of this investigation, we saved lives, Sanders said. "This young man had it in his mind to go to schools and do havoc. He had the tools necessary, the intent necessary, and the only thing that stood between him and doing evil was law enforcement."

Officials in both affected school districts praised Bull for her actions.

"It was a horrible situation, but it could have ended much worse," Anderson County Superintendent Sheila Mitchell told the Post. "We're very grateful to her. I believe that she, with her efforts to protect her children, protected a lot of other children in Kentucky."

Bull was stunned to find out what Jarrell allegedly had planned.

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

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