A South Hill man posted to Snapchat a threat to shoot up Emerald Ridge High School, then said it was a joke and that "dark humor makes me feel better," Pierce County prosecutors say.
The 22-year-old was arraigned Monday in Pierce County Superior Court on one count of felony harassment. He was released on electronic home monitoring and ordered not to contact anyone associated with the school.
According to charging documents:
Someone contacted Pierce County sheriff's deputies Sunday evening to report a threat made against the school the night before.
A deputy went to that person's home and watched the video, which had been saved to a cellphone. The person said that the 22-year-old often joked around on Snapchat, but that the threat seemed serious.
There were two videos posted to Snapchat. The first showed the man holding a black rifle and stating, "If you attend Emerald Ridge High School, I'm warning you, don't (expletive) come to school on Monday."
The man's face and voice were altered in the second video, which was posted later. He was holding a stuffed animal and said, "That was an airsoft gun. Don't take that seriously, please. Um, yeah, I don't support that or advocate it, but, yeah."
He ended the video by saying, "But, uh, yeah, don't take life too serious. Go to school. Go to work. It's a joke. Have a great day."
The deputy went to the man's mother's house, where the man was outside, nervously standing in the front yard, arms shaking.
The deputy arrested the man, who waived his right to remain silent and spoke with the deputy.
He said the videos were a joke taken too far, so the deputy asked him why he would make the threat.
"I was just trying to be funny," the man replied. "Dark humor makes me feel better. I don't take anything serious. I guess I wasn't thinking."