‘Threats of terrorism’: Teacher arrested for posting as student, leaving notes threatening to shoot up high school

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COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA – An Iowa teacher has been arrested after police determined she was the source of  “threatening” handwritten notes pretending to be a troubled student planning to shoot up the high school where she worked.

Katrina Phelan, 37, was arrested and charged with three felony counts of making “threats of terrorism,” according to the Council Bluffs Police Department. Each Class D felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Phelan, who was a teacher at Abraham Lincoln High School, turned herself in to the Pottawattamie County Jail on December 1, according to a police department press release. The release stated:

“Council Bluffs police detectives conducted an investigation into a series of anonymous handwritten notes found inside the school, all making reference to committing gun violence upon school property.

“Each of the notes were reportedly either found in Phelan’s classroom or found by Phelan herself, in various locations within the school.”

While investigating the notes, police added an increased police presence to the school.

Police said that Phelan admitted to being the source of the notes once arrested, and that their investigation concluded she was not planning an attack:

“When interviewed, Phelan admitted to writing the notes. It was determined that she had no intentions or means to carry out these threats.”

Police said Phelan posed as a bullied student in some of the notes:

“In at least one of the notes, Phelan, posing as an unnamed student, wrote that she was tired of being made fun of.”

The arrest affidavit stated that when asked why she planted the notes, she stated:

“It was out of concern, worry, and frustration over the lack of control of her classroom.”

When the police pressed her on what she expected to accomplish with the notes, she said she wanted parents to understand that the school is “not a safe place.”

Parents of children who attended the school told local news outlet KETV that they felt safe returning to school. Parent Kelli Blair said:

“I feel very reassured that they’re doing the right things and it’s swift and taken care of and things are being done appropriately.”

An unidentified grandparent commented:

“If it’s a kid you can kind of… their brain’s not grown yet, but for an adult to do such a thing, I just can’t even, it’s incredible.”

Abraham Lincoln High School Principal Bridgette Bellows sent an email informing parents of the arrest and reassuring them that the school was safe:

“The Council Bluffs Police Department has concluded its investigation into the threatening notes found at school a few weeks ago. They have determined the source of the notes to be a school employee.

Investigators concluded there was no intent or means to carry out the threats. However, the employee has been charged with a crime, has voluntarily surrendered to the police, and will no longer be employed by the Council Bluffs Schools. We appreciate the detectives and their diligence in solving this crime.

“During that investigation, students provided us with information that was helpful. This is what we expect from students at ALHS.

“We want all students, parents and staff members to have confidence that our schools are safe and supportive environments.”

The arrest comes just one day after Oxford High School sophomore Ethan Crumbley, 15, opened fire in the hallways of his school, killing four and injuring seven in Michigan. He now stands charged as an adult with first-degree murder and terrorism counts.

The semiautomatic 9-millimeter Sig Sauer handgun used by the boy in the shooting was an early Christmas gift from his parents, who now stand charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Karen D. McDonald, the Oakland County prosecutor, said the parents were culpable in the crime because they provided the boy access to the gun while ignoring clear warnings that he was nearing violence.

 Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

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Report: High school football star sacrificed his life to save others during school shooting

December 4, 2021

 

OXFORD, MI – In a moment that several people were running scared for their lives, one teenager decided to do anything he could to stop the nightmare caused by an active shooter in his high school.

This hero rushed the shooter to stop him from taking any more lives.

Sadly, he was shot in the process, giving his life for everyone else in the school that day.

This hero, 16-year-old Tate Myre, a star football player and wrestling athlete at Oxford High School, gave his life on that fateful day that a mentally deranged 15-year-old decided to kill as many kids as he could that day. Tate’s attempted encounter with the shooter was made known after the gunshots ended.

Buck Myre rushed to the High School, as many parents did once he learned of the shooting.

When he arrived, he desperately searched for his son at the staging area for survivors, a nearby Meijer’s, he met up with a family friend, JR Laefner. Laefner is the public address announcer for the high school football games and a friend of the family.

Laefner said:

“I was walking with Buck, and we couldn’t find Tate. Buck looked right at me…and he said: ‘You know who would go take that guy out, right?’”

That’s the moment that both men came to the realization that Tate may have attempted to stop the shooter. Unfortunately, their fear that something bad may have happened to Tate came to reality.

The Oxford High Football and Wrestling Coach, Ross Wingert, also searched for Tate at the Meijer. When he asked the several students that were running around, scared for their lives, where Tate was, he was told that Tate was last seen running toward the gunman. Wingert said:

“I was told that everybody in that school was running one way, and Tate was running the other way [towards the shooting].”

Hours after the chaos had ended and the homicide investigation was in full swing, the Oakland Sheriff’s Office confirmed Buck’s worst fear, Tate had been killed.

The Sheriff’s Office noted that a deputy put Tate in his patrol vehicle, he had been shot several times, and rushed him to the hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries before they arrived.

While there is no video evidence to prove that Tate did indeed sacrifice his life for others, those that know him best said that is exactly what he would do in that situation. Wingert said:

“Knowing Tate, knowing how he was raised, he’s the kind of kid that wouldn’t think about it twice. And he’s gonna do it.”

Wingert then spoke about his duty to inform the other student athletes that Tate had died. He said:

“I told them [students] that Tate is the fastest, most athletic kid in that school. There’s no way he couldn’t have gotten there if he wanted to. He would have been the No. 1 candidate to be able to run out of that school if he wanted to. I know Tate chose to do what he thought was right and he made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Wingert then explained a little about how this hero was as a person. He spoke about Tate moving up a weight class in wrestling to help the team which he did without complaint.

He also switched football positions from what he wanted to be, a running back, to a tight end because Wingert needed him to play that position. Wingert said Tate’s personality was one of always doing what was right, for the betterment of others. He said:

“It’s accountability, doing what’s right. You can’t do what he did, unless you prepared yourself beforehand, to know that you’re going to be the guy that’s gonna stand up for everybody.”

Laefner also noted Tate, the way he was raised, and the family he represented. He said:

“It’s [Myre family] the All-American family. If you’re in trouble or if you need anything, they’re there to help. They’re there for the kids. They love school. Buck is like the head of the football parents’ group and helps with the fundraising and is involved in everything.”

One of the other football coaches, Zach Line, also paid tribute to the fallen hero. He wrote on twitter:

“Tate was and will always be a beaming light for Oxford. It’s hard to put into words what he meant to me, but he will hold a special place in my heart forever. God reaches down and touches certain people; he was one of those people. I love you FOUR TWO.”


 

 

 

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