A 24-year-old Vernon man is accused of sending an email that said he was going to be the next school shooter and has been arrested, according to state police.
State police said they began investigating when a Connecticut television news station contacted them after receiving an emailed tip from 24-year-old Oscar Rodriguez, of Rockville, around 9 p.m. Monday that said he was going to be the next school shooter.
"I am going to be the next school shooter," the email said, according to the police report.
No school was specifically mentioned, according to state police.
Vernon police said no direct threat was made to Vernon schools, but investigators have been in touch with Vernon school officials to make them aware of the situation.
“This person did not pose a credible threat to any Vernon School. The Vernon Police and School officials work collaboratively to ensure the safety and security of all students and staff,” Supt. Joseph Macary said in a statement.
Police said they always take threats like this very seriously and investigate.
“This is a situation where the threat wasn’t credible, but nonetheless it’s still a crime. It’s still certainly a threatening incident and certainly a breach of peace and anytime these incidents occur they are going to be investigated completely, whether it is the state police or local police department because it is certainly something we take very serious,” Sgt. Eric Haglund, of Connecticut State Police, said.
Police arrested Rodriguez at his apartment on Prospect Street after an incident that prompted an evacuation of the building and response from the fire department.
Officials said Rodriguez tried to fill the home with natural gas. No one was hurt and police did not find any weapons when they searched Rodriguez’s residence.
Rodriguez told police he had no recollection of sending the email and said when he drinks alcohol, he has done “some stupid stuff,” the police report says.
He was taken into custody and has been charged with first-degree threatening and breach of peace, threatening. Vernon police said they are still investigating and expect to file more charges.
Bond was set at $250,000. Rodriguez was unable to post bond and is due in court today.
This is one of several arrests police have made in several towns after investigating threatening messages in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead.
Police urge anyone who sees or hears anything suspicious to report it.
“We want anybody that sees anything suspicious or hears anything or overhear something or sees something that any reference of that sort of behavior to certainly contact us -- your local police department, the state police department. If you’re a student, let your parents know or let administration know at the school because again it is something that we do take very serious and we are going to put the effort to making sure that we determine who it is,” Haglund said.