Medora student arrested after report of threats


An 18-year-old Medora High School student faces an intimidation charge in connection with an incident Thursday in which he threatened to shoot students and turn the gun on himself, police report.

Willis Lee Weddell Abell of Medora was arrested on the Level 6 charge near his residence, just a few blocks away from the school on George Street, after the incident reported at 3:20 p.m., Jackson County Officer Jeff Walters said.

“I had just left there after teaching D.A.R.E.,” Walters said. “The principal (Chrystal Street) called me and said a teacher had told her that seven minutes before school ended, he (Abell) had become upset and said he was going to go get an AK-47 and come back and shoot students and then himself.”

Walters and county officers Rob Henley and Clint Burcham responded to the area, and Walters said he found and arrested Abell a short time later in a parking lot near his home. No weapon was found.

The school was not on a lockdown during the incident, and children were allowed to leave since it was the end of the day, Superintendent Roger Bane said Friday.

Bane said procedures call for the school to be on lockdown if there is an immediate threat, and there was not in this case since Abell had left the building.

He said he was notified of the incident immediately and was involved in the decision to call police because of threats overheard by a teacher and a couple of students.

As soon as Abell was located, the buses and students were allowed to leave, Walters said.

Abell was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 4:53 p.m. Thursday and being held without bond pending his initial hearing.

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