Posted: Dec 19, 2012 1:43 PM by MTN News
Updated: Dec 20, 2012 2:30 PM
BILLINGS - A man is in custody after authorities say he made a threatening call to 911, saying there would be a school shooting.
Billings Police Chief Rich St. John, along with School District 2 Superintendent Terry Bouck, called a news conference late Wednesday morning to inform the public of the threat phone call. Chief St. John said that county and city dispatch received an anonymous 911 call at approximately 2:11 a.m. Wednesday. St. John said the caller simply said, "School shooting tomorrow," and then hung up.
BPD in co-ordination with SD2, immediately enforced heightened security to all Billings area schools including MSU-B.
Employees at 911 were able to track the latitude and longitude of the call to 1412 Omaha in Lockwood. Sheriff's deputies were dispatched and arrested Rodney Wilm, 51, at approximately 10 a.m. Wednesday. Wilms is currently being held at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility and being charged with Felony Intimidation.
Chief St. John says that the man's threats appear to be unwarranted and unrelated to Facebook posts made yesterday by Skyview High School students. However, a semi lockdown order has been enacted in all Billings area schools and will be enforced through Friday. This means that all exterior and classroom doors will remain locked at all times and school staff will be posted at exits to allow students and parents in and out of the building.
BPD Chief Rich St. John and Superintendent Terry Bouck, both agree that student safety is top priority. Law enforcement presence has been upgraded at all area schools and SD2 staff is also being dispersed in all schools to assist with any problems that may arise.
Bouck sent out the following email early Wednesday afternoon addressing the incident:
Today the Billings Police Department notified me of a threat involving a possible shooting at one of our schools. Billings Police quickly and thoroughly investigated, and as Chief St John indicated at our joint press conference this morning, an arrest has been made and charges will be filed.
When I was informed of the threat this morning, I immediately directed all schools to be in semi-lockdown. This means that all exterior doors are locked. Staff are present at the doors to welcome students and parents into the building. We have and will continue to have police presence in our schools throughout the week. Also, school district staff have been placed in our schools to offer additional support.
Today some media outlets erroneously reported a shooting at one of our high schools. This report is false and the error is unfortunate.
I have visited our high schools this morning and feel very confident in the security and safety of our staff and students. I will continue to visit schools throughout the week to observe and offer my support as needed. We absolutely will not tolerate threats of any nature to our students and staff. We will ask that any individual who makes a threat be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Thank you for your patience and support as we continue to make student and staff safety our top priority. We will continue to be vigilant regarding any perceived threat.
Terry Nelsen Bouck