MORGANTOWN — A 50-year-old man is charged with making terroristic threats after he allegedly said he wanted to shoot up WVU.
Clarence Steve Wright, of Morgantown, faces one to three years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000-$25,000 if convicted.
According to a criminal complaint, on Aug. 31, Wright said he had thoughts of committing a mass shooting at WVU. He allegedly said he couldn’t think of anything better to do and said he wanted to leave behind a legacy.
The comments were made while Wright was at Fairmont General Hospital, and staff there reported them to the Morgantown Police Department, said Andrew Stacy, Morgantown’s public information officer.
Stacy said MPD alerted WVU to the threats.
Wright has a long history of making threats and was arrested by the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, which brought him from the hospital to jail, Stacy said.
Wright was booked into North Central Regional Jail Friday and is being held in lieu of $7,500 bond.
WVU issued a statement Monday evening.
“At no time was Clarence Wright, arrested Saturday by the Marion County Sheriff’s department for making threats against WVU, a danger to campus or in a position to carry out those threats.
“Mr. Wright is well known to law enforcement authorities and (University Police Department) UPD has been aware that he was in a Marion County facility for observation for several weeks and had been checking weekly on his status. As he was released from the facility Saturday afternoon, he was immediately taken into custody by Marion County deputies on a warrant from Morgantown Police. He was never out of custody, nor was he in Monongalia County. He remains in the regional jail.
“WVU issues emergency alerts only when in the professional judgment of University Police an immediate threat to campus exists. No such threat existed, therefore no alert was appropriate.”
The 50-year-old is the second person in as many months to be charged with making threats against WVU.
WVU Police arrested and charged Zachary Ryan Johnson, 21, of Bruceton Mills, with the same crime after he allegedly said, “I honestly feel like going home and getting my gun and killing everybody” and “I seriously just feel like doing a mass shooting” during class at the WVU Health Sciences Center on Aug. 23.
Johnson was released on $50,000 bond and as a condition of bond the 21-year-old is not allowed on WVU property.
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