ROLLA, Mo. (AP) – A student at the Missouri University of Science and Technology has been charged with threatening to open fire on the Rolla campus after an AK-47 style rifle and nearly 900 rounds of ammunition were found at his home.
Alexander Beetler, 20, of St. James, was charged Wednesday with making a terrorist threat. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.
A Missouri S&T police lieutenant wrote in the probable cause statement that Beetler’s sister, Rachel Berryhill, said she had received Facebook messages early Sunday from her brother in which he “contemplated” firing six AK-47 rifle magazines on the college campus. She said her brother also said he would kill his father, Darrell Beetler, for “his freedom.”
She said her brother showed up later Sunday at her home, where he slapped her and grabbed her hair before her husband could intervene. She said her brother had never threatened to harm anyone but himself in the past. She called Lamar police. Beetler’s father told authorities in Rolla separately that his son had threatened to kill him and “empty the rest of the clips” on the Missouri S&T campus, the lieutenant wrote.
Police searched his home on Tuesday and found an AK-47 style weapon loaded with a 30-round magazine and with a live round in the chamber. Police also found six rifle magazines loaded with 30 live rounds, along with another 687 live rounds in boxes in the home, the probable cause statement said.
Beetler also was charged earlier this year in Kansas with discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, the probable cause statement said. Phelps County prosecuting attorney Brendon Fox said Beetler was arrested on March 2, 2017, after he shot a weapon inside his home. No one was injured and further details weren’t immediately available.
Missouri S&T said in a written statement that Beetler had only recently enrolled and has been temporarily suspended. The statement said Beetler wasn’t near campus at the time of the alleged threats and that the university didn’t issue an alert to students or staff because he didn’t pose an “immediate threat.” The university’s release says Beetler didn’t have a weapon with him when police stopped him near Lebanon, about 60 miles southwest of Rolla.
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