Arkansas State suspect has 1st court appearance set

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Arkansas State armed suspect said on Facebook he was ‘homicidal,’ police say.

JONESBORO, Ark. JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — The first court appearance for the man accused of loading his pickup truck with a shotgun, gasoline and propane and driving onto a plaza at Arkansas State University, prompting a campuswide lockdown, is set for Friday afternoon.Police surrounded the green pickup truck parked on a lawn near Arkansas State University’s student union after locking down the Jonesboro campus, said university spokesman Bill Smith.

Brad Kenneth Bartelt was being held Friday on a preliminary charge of aggravated assault for the Thursday incident, in which students and staff were ordered to evacuate the student union. The report said Bartelt told an officer Thursday that he wanted to shoot people at the university but “realized murder would be wrong, so he was going to kill himself.” Bartelt told police he was on several psychiatric medications and painkillers. Bartelt will appear via video link from the Craighead County jail before a judge, who will consider whether there was probable cause for his arrest and whether bond should be set.

A day earlier, officers went to Bartelt’s home after receiving a call about a Facebook post where he said he was “suicidal and now homicidal.” In the post, Bartelt referred to an incident with the Social Security administration. Officers had visited Bartelt’s home Wednesday after learning of an apparently suicidal Facebook post he had written that day, said Jonesboro Police Department spokesman Paul Holmes. The chief said that, when he arrived, Bartelt was sitting in the truck with his foot out the window and the shotgun visible, yelling something inaudible. About five minutes later, Miller said, “people came running and screaming freaking out.” The university reportedBartelt captured around 3 p.m. local time.

Arkansas State has over 13,000 students and Jonesboro suffered its own mass shooting in 1998, when two boys who went to Westside Middle School gunned down four of their fellow students and one of their teachers.

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