University professor arrested for threatening mass shooting

Sept. 8, 2013 at 12:35 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Police investigating an online threat of a mass shooting said they ended up charging a Missouri university professor with producing and possessing marijuana.

Matthew Rouch, 57, who teaches mass communication at Northwest Missouri State University, was arrested Friday after law enforcement officials learned of a Facebook exchange with a fellow professor Wednesday in which Rouch said he begins the school year hopeful, but his optimistic feelings start to wane, KCTV-TV, Kansas City, Mo., reported Friday.

In the post he referred to the 1966 mass shooting from the top of the University of Texas' iconic bell tower in which 16 people died and 31 others were wounded.

"By October, I'll be wanting to get up to the top of the Bell Tower with a high-powered rifle with a good scope and probably a Gatling gun as well," he wrote.

Upon his arrest, police conducted a search of Rouch's residence, discovering an extensive marijuana growing operation. They seized 10 live marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia, prosecutors said.

Rouch was charged with producing and possessing a controlled substance.

Since prosecutors can't prove whether Rouch was serious or joking in his Facebook post, he wasn't charged for the threats.

The university has placed Rouch on administrative leave and ordered him to stay off school property, KCTV reported.

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