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Man arrested after threatening to shoot up a school

Bought gun Thursday, but no specific campus targeted

POSTED: September 12, 2013 4:12 p.m.
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Medved

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A 51-year-old man who reportedly threatened to shoot up a school with a rifle was arrested Thursday at his home near Lake Lanier.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, local and federal authorities took Joseph “Joe” John Medved into custody without incident about 12:10 p.m.

Medved has since been transferred to Fulton County, where authorities secured warrants charging him with terroristic threats and acts.

A Fulton County judge granted Medved $50,000 bond on Friday morning. He remained incarcerated in Fulton County as of that night.

If Medved does make bond, Forsyth County Sheriff’s spokesman Doug Rainwater said he will undergo an evaluation before being released.

Medved does not yet face any charges in Forsyth County, Rainwater said.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s office, the situation began Wednesday when Medved reportedly made a comment at a north Fulton clinic about “shooting up a school with a long rifle.”

An employee with the clinic reported the statements to authorities, said Doug Rainwater, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

Medved later attempted to purchase a gun at a pawn shop in Forsyth, but the 24-hour background check wait prevented him from obtaining it that day.

The suspect returned Thursday morning to the pawn shop, where he was able to purchase a shotgun once his background check cleared.

Shortly after, the sheriff’s office received reports of Medved firing the gun near a road at his Goldmine Road home, east of Cumming, said Doug Rainwater,

“We already had the house pretty much staked out because we were not going to let him leave in a truck with a shotgun after making those threats,” Rainwater said, “but thankfully he didn’t try.”

Later Thursday afternoon, sheriff’s deputies found what appeared to be a homemade bomb while searching Medved’s home.

Rainwater described it as device with two aerosol cans taped together. The bomb squad turned it over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for further examination.

An exact school or school district was not mentioned in the reported threat.

“He never said anything related to a specific school,” said Rainwater, adding that local school system officials were updated on situation as it unfolded.

Gwinnett County was also notified, since Medved graduated from a high school in that district, he said.

Rainwater went on to note that the incident was unrelated to a “code yellow” alert issued Thursday morning near West Forsyth High School.

A domestic dispute in a nearby subdivision escalated to the point of concern for public safety, but was quickly diffused.

Forsyth County Schools issued a statement Friday clarifying that no threats were made against any school in the district.

According to the statement: “Since the man lives in Forsyth County our school safety department, school administrative staff and school resource officers were made aware of the alleged threat.

“Our staff was in constant contact with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office throughout the investigation and arrest, and at no time on Sept. 12 were Forsyth County schools put on lockdown for this situation.”

Rainwater noted that the operation was a collaborative effort of the sheriff’s office, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Joint Terrorism Task Force.

 

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