A man is accused of making threats to shoot up schools. Jonathan Trent Patterson, 22, of Belton, South Carolina, even targeted Tri-County Technical College, where he was expelled in 2021, according to documents obtained by WYFF.
“I want to first let everyone in the Upstate know that we are not aware of any physical harm that occurred as a result of these threats, and the suspect is in custody and thus at this time does not pose a danger to the community,” said U.S. Attorney Corey F. Ellis of the District of South Carolina in a news release.
Patterson made 50 email and faxes threatening approximately 26 people, Assistant United States Attorney Max Cauthen reportedly said. Patterson also allegedly sent messages to five states “containing threats to shoot up a school and harm individuals.”
“I’m shooting up the school soon,” Patterson allegedly wrote in an April 18 fax to Belton Honea Path High School.
An Anderson District 2 employee got an e-mail which read in part, “I’m going to shoot up the [censored] school if you don’t let me graduate or just because I want to LOL,” authorities said.
“While these charges speak for themselves, this office aggressively investigates and, where appropriate, prosecutes threats of violence and acts of violence,” Ellis said. “This is especially true when anyone threatens harm against our schools, and recent events confirm these threats must be taken seriously. Responding to these cases requires a team approach, and I especially want to thank our partners at the FBI and Sheriff Chad McBride and the rest of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.”
[Screenshot of Tri-County Technical College via WYFF; booking photo of Patterson via Anderson County Sheriff’s Office]
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