Wilson Co. Authorities Avert Possible Va. Tech Copycat - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Wilson Co. Authorities Avert Possible Va. Tech Copycat

Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Police said a troubled teen may have been on the verge of a bloody rampage, looking to copy what happened at Virginia Tech.

The 15-year-old Wilson County student now faces. Investigators said he made threats.

But, the sad fact is schools everywhere have received threats since the Virginia Tech shootings.

While all reported incidents are taken seriously, most have been false.

But, the Wilson County sheriff said the case involving a Wilson Central High School student was different.

"We equate this to be a tactical vest," said Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe, showing what was confiscated from the student's bedroom. "You can store whatever else you want to store in it."

It was the same type worn by the gunman at Virginia Tech.

Authorities also confiscated a mask from the Wilson Central High School sophomore's bedroom.

"It's not something that you find in every kid's room," Ashe said.

Ashe said his deputies also confiscated a stun gun, ammunition and a computer from the teenager's home.

"Recently, he had started to refer to himself as V-Tech," Ashe said.

Ashe had asked for a search warrant after faculty and staff at Wilson Central reported the 15-year-old student for making threats and turning in disturbing homework.

"His writings were interesting as it relates to his potential for violence," Ashe said. "We felt it was in our interest to pursue this further."

School officials became especially concerned when they spotted the teenager was spotted on surveillance video using a paperclip trying to turn off the school's internal lighting system.

"He just wanted to test the system out," said School Resource Officer Scott Moore.

Ashe questioned the teen himself and was disturbed at what more he learned.

"He's very bright, very articulate young man," Ashe said. "He sat down and showed me exactly how to crash the school's computer system."

He said the teenager could control the computers and possibly turn out the lights.

Parents such as Kim Medline were concerned.

"It's scary," Medline said. "I never had to deal with this, but my kids do.  They hear it on the news.  You never know when it's going to happen."

Certainly no one knows for sure what the teen was planning for Wilson Central High school.

But the staff took notice, police acted and the student is now removed from the school.

The sheriff did not find the teen with any guns.

The student is charged in juvenile court only with disorderly conduct. But he's out of the school and will most likely be expelled.

There was no indication any other students were involved with him.

Authorities confiscated his computer. The sheriff hopes to get inside and review what the teen's written, looking for any clues as to what he might have had planned.

Ashe credited school resource officers at Wilson Central for following up on complaints about the teen.

He said it's vital that students trust the SROs and go to them in such situations because doing so can save lives.

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