A potential threat was thwarted in Rockland, Maine, after police say a tipster alerted them to a man with multiple firearms who claimed voices inside his head were telling him to carry out a school shooting.
Police say they got the information from a concerned friend this Tuesday, and took the man into a custody. He is at a local hospital for a mental health evaluation.
They executed a search warrant at his home, right across the street from the Rockland elementary school, and seized eight guns and ammunition.
According to the search warrant, the man admitted to police that he was hearing the voices but told them he could keep the voices at bay, and wouldn't hurt anyone. Officers said after a brief struggle, was arrested.
Police say he may face terrorizing charges after he is released from the hospital.
Schools in the RSU 13 district were put on "lock out" mode, and officers from the local police department and Sheriff's office responded to secure the buildings within minutes.
"These kind of incidents are very concerning, and this was very unexpected," said RSU 13 Superintendent John McDonald. "What it did show us, is that our safety protocols work."
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
The district does not have a dedicated resource officer, but that may change. McDonald said the school board was already considering the hire, and this incident may speed up their time table.
"We need more security guards, and security checks," said Debbie Turnbull, whose 7-year-old grandson goes to the Rockland elementary school and said this incident has shaken the family. "I'm fearful now. I never thought it would happen here in Maine."
Joshua Wallace, who lives in the next town over, has two sons who go to a different elementary school. He wants to see a school resource officer in every building.
"I think a lot of parents want change," he said. "It's troubling. There's no easy solution, and that's the scariest part."