Facebook post leads to arrest

Less than a week after 20 students were killed in an elementary school shooting in Connecticut, a 21-year-old Cleveland man posted a comment on Facebook stating he was so irritated he could “shoot up an elementary school.”

Dakota Kent was arrested at his home, charged with a Class C felony of making a terroristic threat, and transported to Blount County Jail where, as of Friday when The Blount Countian went to press, he remained without bond. While at the jail, he will go through a mental evaluation.

According to Oneonta Police Chief James Chapman, the department received a private message on their Facebook page stating there was concern over Kent’s comments being a real threat.

“We received a hyperlink to this person’s Facebook account, which is public,” Chapman said. “It didn’t identify a specific school, so we informed all schools so they could take precautionary action. We notified school resource officers (SROs) and SRO supervisor Lt. Russ Claburn and gave them the suspect’s identification.”

The district attorney’s office was briefed on the situation and drafted a warrant while officers went to the suspect’s home.

“While we were arresting him the schools were executing a controlled release of the students since at the time of the arrest school was being dismissed,” Chapman said.

Investigator Shane Osborn, along with Sheriff’s Department investigators, received a search warrant for Kent’s computer and cell phone. Both items were seized and awaiting transport to the forensics office in Hoover to investigate the suspect’s search history and other information.

Osborn says since the arrest there have been reports of threatening comments toward Kent and those closest to him.

“There have been reports of the general public making threats against him and his family,” Osborn said. “I have spoken with the district attorney and she says if those threats are credible, those individuals are subject to prosecution.”