LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - An 18-year-old student is facing a felony charge after a threat at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.
Photo: Lexington Police
Police charged Timothy Felker, 18, with second-degree terroristic threatening.
This comes after a classmate submitted a tip through the STOP (Safety Tipline Online Prevention) Tipline after school on Feb. 16.
Felker flew out of town Feb. 17, and when he returned Feb. 19, he was detained at the airport. Lexington police later confirmed he went to Eastern State Hospital for an evaluation.
On March 2, Felker was booked into jail and then released on a $5,000 bond. At his March 5 arraignment, Felker pleaded not guilty. He was placed under house arrest with an ankle monitor. He is also unable to buy or be in possession of firearms.
Court documents indicate police took a rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition from the student's home. The caller who submitted the tip is quoted in court documents saying Felker, "owns a gun and constantly talks about killing himself/shooting up the school. He tells specific people he would shoot them first and then shoot up the classroom."
Felker has not been back to school since Feb. 16. School officials say the charges mean expulsion is now on the table.
“I commend everyone involved, from the students who shared their concerns, to the adults who took those reports seriously and the multiple law enforcement agencies that worked swiftly to safeguard our students and staff,” Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk said.
School officials say they could not discuss the situation until now because of the ongoing investigation.
“Our first priority is to ensure the safety of our students and staff and that requires that we do not do anything to jeopardize the investigative process," Caulk said, "As soon as we were able to inform our community, we shared all the information that we were legally allowed to provide.”
Some say they had hoped to have learned sooner about the alleged threat, but their fears were calmed after learning about his hospital stay.
"I as a parent, and I’m a teacher, I would’ve liked to know sooner but I am glad that he was under observation and he wasn’t in school," Dunbar High School parent Erin Tuttle said.
Some students were surprised when they learned who was behind the alleged threat.
"It was really surprising," one student who wished not to be identified said, "We had known this kid through arts productions in the school. So when the news came out when I realized to it was, it was very shocking."
Caulk and other school leaders met with parents Tuesday night to discuss questions about the incident.