Shocking reports out of South Austin, Texas say that multiple threats were made against both local schools and a Church just one week after the horrific Church shooting in Sutherland Springs.
Fortunately, however, it appears that the culprits have been stopped before they could carry out any sort of attacks.
Law enforcement on Friday arrested two individuals who they've accused of making multiple threats of mass shootings.
According to police one of the people responsible is a Manor High School student who threatened a Columbine-style attack at his school, and the other suspect is a woman who showed up at a South Austin church with a shotgun.
The two separate incidents reflect an increased alarm from communities after the events that unfolded at the Sutherland Springs Baptist Church, which has churches and religious organizations around the nation scrambling to increase their security and protect those who come to worship.
The shooting threats amongst other recent attacks have Austin police urging the public to be vigilant, take all threats seriously and report anything suspicious to law enforcement.
“Nothing is ever too small to make a call on,” Austin police spokesman Chris Irwin said.
In the first incident, an Assistant Principal at Manor High School had contacted a school resource officer Friday about what she considered as being a threat made against the safety of the school, according to an arrest affidavit.
<iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d13771.70242607626!2d-97.5618741!3d30.3530641!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x0:0x14be357c23f8de51!2sManor+High+School!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1510469429675" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" style="border:0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Police investigated those claims and found a Snapchat video posted that morning by 17-year-old Rafael Gamboa, under the username of “School Shooter.”
Police said that in the video the student was standing behind bushes and other students at a pep rally in the school’s courtyard with the caption, “Loads glock, oh i’ll make y’all red.”
Police took Gamboa from class and found several shooting-related photos and videos on his phone, the affidavit said, including a photo of Gamboa wearing a tactical vest and holding his hand as though he had a handgun, with a caption saying, “you had this coming Manor.”
Another photo showed Gamboa in the school library and was captioned, “it’s about to happen (smiley face) hopefully I’m first.”
Police also said they found photos of a map of Manor High School and a video of him pointing with a knife at the map to show how the attack would be carried out.
After Gamboa’s parents consented to a search of his room, police found the map with markings indicating shooting positions, the location of explosives and location of an attack vehicle, the affidavit said.
Gamboa faces a felony charge of exhibition of a firearm with bond set at $50,000, the affidavit said. He was also ordered to stay at least 200 feet away from the high school.
Manor ISD spokesman Scott Thomas emphasized that no firearm was brought to campus and that the incident was dealt with immediately upon administrators learning of it.
“Student safety is and always will be our number one priority,” Thomas said. “Furthermore, we want to remind parents that school is a safe place to be, as we employ school resource officers to patrol our campuses and staff members are trained on lock down drills and other measures geared toward student safety in an emergency.”
In the second incident, a man at a learning center attached to Bannockburn Baptist Church in South Austin said he heard a woman with a child trying to enter the locked building on Friday. Assuming she was a parent, the man let her in, the affidavit said.
The woman, later identified as 27-year-old Lindsey Holeman entered the church, placing the child on the floor and said, “There’s a gun on my car. I have shells. Look, I will give you the shells. I have one for each of you,” according to an affidavit.
The man grabbed his own daughter and got in his car outside the church at 7100 Brodie Lane, just south of William Cannon Drive.
<iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d3447.867208048898!2d-97.83458488488091!3d30.212337281821643!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x865b4b833a25f697:0xdd96cdf9b82f4198!2s7100+Brodie+Ln%2C+Austin%2C+TX+78745!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1510469178911" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" style="border:0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
From his car, he could see Holeman talking with someone else in a car and said she was raising her arms like she was holding a rifle or shotgun at him and his daughter, the affidavit said. The man took off and flagged down police.
Holeman, in an interview with police, admitted to bringing a pink Remington 870 pump-action shotgun to the church but said she displayed it to protect other people.
Holeman was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with bond set at $25,000. She was also ordered to stay at least 200 feet away from the church.
Tips? Info? Send me a message!