A 17-year-old Park Hill South High School student has been charged with making a terroristic threat for allegedly telling several witnesses he was thinking of “shooting up” the high school.
Dayton Linder of Parkville was charged Saturday, Feb. 2 with a misdemeanor charge for his threat, which police and administrators became aware of on Friday, Feb. 1. A warrant was issued Saturday and Linder was taken into custody on $15,000 cash-only bond. On Monday, Feb. 4 he pleaded not guilty and was back in court on Tuesday, when bond was posted on a reduced rate of $1,500. Terms of his bond include: not being able to go to school, have no internet access, no possession of firearms and to have GPS monitoring. He was also ordered to undergo a physiological exam. Linder returns to court on March 19.
The Park Hill School District notified parents on Feb. 1 via a phone message from principal Dale Longenecker and later followed up with an email after charges were filed.
According to court documents, the Park Hill South school resource officer was contacted at about 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 about a threat to “shoot up the school.” A witness reportedly overheard Linder say he was planning to commit the crime because he was “being bullied by other students and teachers.” Linder said he planned to forewarn students on Facebook of the shooting and tell students he didn’t wish to shoot to wear blue that day.
School staff gave police screen shots of a Facebook messenger conversation between Linder and someone calling themselves “Da Guy” about purchasing a 9 mm handgun for $300. Linder said he would not have the money until he was paid in two weeks and that Da Guy seemed shady, so he would think about it.
During the investigation, police learned a coworker had joked about purchasing Linder a gun, and afterward Linder had repeatedly asked the coworker about following through with the offer.
About a week prior to the incident, Linder had again brought up a school shooting and threatened suicide. He talked about a hit list and who he would shoot first. He had reportedly made a similar statement around November 2018.
Another witness said Linder spoke about committing a school shooting “all of the time” and said “everyone says I look like a school shooter so why not become one?”
On Feb. 1, Linder voluntarily came to the Riverside police headquarters for an interview, but denied making any threats. He also said he had never asked anyone to buy him a gun and he had only recently friended “Da Guy” and had played along with the conversation because he feared angering him.
Linder told police he had been called a “school shooter” by other students from 7th-9th grades because he was white and dressed in black. He said because of this it was a running joke that if students “wore blue they would be okay, but if they wore red they would get shot.”
According to Longenecker, district policy states that a student who makes a threat could face suspension, and a serious threat could mean possible long-term suspension.
“We appreciate the quick action of the police and the prosecutor’s office to help us respond to this situation, so we could all work together to keep Park Hill South safe,” Longenecker said in his message to parents.