A Delaware Hayes High School student was charged with felony inducing panic Thursday after he made inappropriate school shooting comments Wednesday.
Troy F. Ferguson, 18, of Delaware, was taken into custody by City of Delaware Police Wednesday afternoon after two students at Hayes told school officials they heard a group of students discussing a school shooting that was planned for Thursday, Nov. 8.
Police spoke to the group of students and learned they were not planning a shooting. Instead, they were discussing comments that Ferguson had made earlier in the day about bringing a gun to school. Police made contact with Ferguson at a residence on North Washington Street and asked him about the comments.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Delaware Municipal Court, Ferguson admitted to making inappropriate school shooting comments and said he was “just joking.” Police said Ferguson’s car was parked in front of the residence, and after a search of the vehicle, police found a silver compact .22-caliber, semi-automatic handgun, an airsoft pistol, rope, a gas can, and a wig and fake beard.
City of Delaware Police Capt. Adam Moore said Thursday that Ferguson was then taken into custody and transferred to a secure medical facility for an evaluation. Moore said after Ferguson is cleared from that medical facility, he will be taken into custody.
Moore said the investigation is open and ongoing. He added that after an additional investigation, police have not developed any other information to suggest that other persons or school facilities are involved.
Hayes was closed Thursday as a precaution, according to Delaware City Schools Superintendent Paul Craft, who made the announcement Wednesday evening. Craft said the school district immediately notified police and began investigating the threats.
School officials said Thursday that Hayes would be open for classes Friday.
“We are grateful to the students who came forward and the Delaware Police Department for their thorough investigation of the threat at Hayes High School,” the district said in a Facebook post Thursday afternoon. “A student is in police custody and will be charged. All schools will be in session tomorrow. We encourage anyone who sees or hears something out of the ordinary to report it immediately to the schools or the police.”
The police department is encouraging anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Delaware Police Department’s tip line at (740) 203-1112 or by e-mail at PoliceTipLine@delawareohio.net.
Ferguson had not been released from the secure medical facility Thursday afternoon.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.