Just two months after a deadly shooting at a Connecticut grade school, a Belleville man already on probation on a weapons charge was accused of threatening a shooting at a local parochial school.
Brian A. Smith, 25, of 1822 Muren Ave. in Belleville, was charged on Feb. 13 with making a terrorist threat.
"We take every threat of school violence seriously," said St. Clair County Sheriff's Lt. Scott Weymouth. "In the wake of recent shootings, we will go to extreme measure to protect the safety of schools in our communities and its students."
On Dec. 14, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Smith is accused of sending a text to an ex-girlfriend, threatening her and her children. In one message, Smith stated he would "shoot up the school right now."
St. Clair County Sheriff's Investigator Frank Bennett contacted St. Theresa's School at 1108 Lebanon Ave. in Belleville where the woman's children attended school, Weymouth said. Moore also contacted Belleville Police.
Smith was arrested at a MetroLink station.
Deputy Calvin Savage initially took the report and charged Smith with telephone harassment, but the charge was enhanced.
"We took a more aggressive approach because of the threat of school violence," Weymouth said.
Smith was already on probation on a charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after he was found with a loaded, uncased, .25-caliber handgun, according to court records. Smith did not have a valid firearm owners' identification card.
Smith remains in the St. Clair County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2570.