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Wisconsin Man Arrested In Connection With Murray High School Threats

Murray Police Department.

Detectives with the Murray Police Department arrested a 19-year-old Wisconsin man this morning in connection to threats made against Murray High School earlier this week. Police believe the suspect is responsible for the false shots fired call on Monday and thebomb threaton Tuesday.

Sgt. Andrew Wiggins with the Murray Police Department (MPD) said Detective Sgt. Angel Clere and Detective Justin Swope arrested Kya Nelson of Racine, Wisconsin, this morning with assistance from the FBI and the Racine Police Department


Nelson is charged with two counts of terroristic threatening, 2nd degree, related to the two phone calls about the active shooter, which are Class D felonies punishable by one to five years in a state penitentiary; and one count of terroristic threatening, 1st degree, for the bomb threat, which is a Class C felony punishable by five to 10 years in a state penitentiary. He’s being housed at the Racine County Jail, awaiting extradition.


There were two questions Wiggins declined to answer at this time, citing the ongoing investigation: how law enforcement traced the calls back to Nelson, and Nelson’s connection to Murray, Kentucky. He did tell WKMS that this morning, even as the press briefing was taking place, Det. Swope was interviewing Nelson at the Racine Police Department, trying to gather more information.


MPD Police Chief Jeff Liles said, “It’s a very exciting day here in Murray, Kentucky.”


Liles thanked the school for doing “an outstanding job” on Monday and Tuesday in response to the threats. He also thanked the law enforcement agencies who assisted in the case.


“They’ve been working this thing around the clock and it all came to light this morning around 7 a.m. when we put this individual into custody. We’ve got a great community, we care about our community and we care about our students,” he said. “We want everyone to know if you do this type of stuff here in our community, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that we’re going to prosecute you.”


Commonwealth’s Attorney Dennis Foust, whose office will prosecute the case, said he’s waiting to learn if Nelson will waive extradition (come to Kentucky willingly) or if his office will need to file for a governor’s warrant “to procure his presence in Kentucky.”


Foust explained that if Nelson fights extradition, it’s possible a Calloway County grand jury will hear the case before Nelson’s arrival. But said what his office anticipates is conducting a preliminary hearing in Calloway District Court with the intention of submitting it to the next available grand jury to seek indictments on the charges. 


Murray Independent Schools Superintendent Coy Samons said, “This is a very serious situation, and we want people to realize that the safety of their children and our staff is our top priority. And when there is a threat like this, we take it seriously.”


Samons told WKMS he stands by what he said earlier this week--that the school intends to see the case prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He said the school district is ready to help in any way possible, and he’s grateful for a swift resolution. He also noted the high school will return to normal operations next week.


Calloway County Sheriff’s Office, Murray State Police Department, Kentucky State Police, FBI, ATF, Racine Police Department, Murray Fire Department, Murray Calloway County Ambulance Service, Calloway County Fire Rescue and the 42nd Circuit Commonwealth’s Attorney Office (which serves Calloway and Marshall Counties) assisted in response and investigations. 

Rachel’s interest in journalism began early in life, reading newspapers while sitting in the laps of her grandparents. Those interactions ignited a thirst for language and stories, and she recalls getting caught more than once as a young girl hiding under the bed covers with a flashlight and book because she just couldn’t stop reading.
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