This mom called police after getting racist messages. That may have prevented a school shooting
Koeberle Bull got on Facebook and saw several racist, cruel messages that used the N-word and wished death on her three African-American children.
She didn’t know the white man who had messaged her — she lives in New Jersey, and he appeared to live in Kentucky — but he had a gun in his profile photo, so she decided to call police in Kentucky and report him.
“Something in the back of my head was like, ‘This isn’t right.’ Something’s not sitting well,” Bull told CNN affiliate WKYT.
Little did Bull know that her call, and a follow-up police investigation, prevented what police say could have been a mass tragedy.
On Thursday, after speaking with Bull, Kentucky State Police went to interview Dylan Jarrell, the Lawrenceburg man who allegedly messaged her. Police say they found him backing out of the driveway with a firearm, a collection of ammo, a Kevlar vest and a detailed plan to attack local schools.
“This young man had it in his mind to go to schools and create havoc,” state Police Commissioner Rick Sanders said. “He had the tools necessary, the intent necessary, and the only thing that stood between him and evil — between him in a school doing evil — was law enforcement.”
Jarrell, 21, was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree terroristic threatening and one count of harassing communications, police said.
Police said they found evidence of a “credible and imminent threat” to nearby Shelby and Anderson County schools.
Authorities said they obtained a search warrant for Jarrell’s home and electronic devices. Jarrell’s internet history included a search for how to carry out a school shooting, police said, and he had been questioned by the FBI in May over social media threats to a school in Tennessee.
Kentucky State Police said Jarrell had more than 200 rounds of ammunition, a 100-round high capacity magazine and a detailed plan of attack. There may be additional charges, Sanders said.
Court records indicate Jarrell was arraigned Monday and entered a not guilty plea with public defender Amy Robertson, and his bond was set at $50,000.
CNN reached out to Robertson on Tuesday but was not able to contact her.
Jarrell is being held at the Shelby County Detention Center and has a preliminary hearing in Anderson County scheduled for November 1, according to court records.
‘Thank God I went with my gut’
Now, days later, Bull’s Facebook page is full of messages of praise, thanking her for preventing what could have been a tragedy.
“I must say I didn’t see this coming,” Bull wrote on Facebook, “but thank God I went with my gut.”
CNN has reached out to Bull and will update this story when she is available to speak.
As a precautionary measure, Anderson County Schools were closed on October 19, and Shelby County Public Schools suspended activities at Shelby County High School, too.
On the Anderson County Schools website, officials thanked a number of security officials and first responders “who eliminated a threat to AC students and staff, worked countless, tireless hours to ensure our safety and humbly take no credit for their heroic actions.”
At a press conference, Sanders thanked Trooper Josh Satterly, a “humble, dedicated trooper” who took Bull’s report and followed up with other agencies to investigate.
Sanders mentioned the “female from New Jersey” who he said rightly called police to lodge a complaint after the harassment.
“I would hope that someone would, in the same situation, just do the same thing,” Bull told WKYT. “Because, obviously, you never know. It could be an idle threat or it could be the next mass shooter that you’re stopping.”