A Kentucky man who bought an AR-15 rifle to use in a planned shooting at his former high school has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.
Dylan Jarrell, 22, of Lawrenceburg, was sentenced Wednesday for crimes connected to his planned attack at Shelby County High School, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Prosecutors said Jarrell in May 2018 used an anonymous Reddit account to indicate he planned to shoot up a school, prompting FBI agents to visit his home to question him.
Jarrell, who lied to investigators about his “internet activities” when interviewed, then bought an AR-15 rifle, a bump stock, high-capacity magazine, ammo and body armor over the next few months – items he intended to use in a planned attack at the high school, federal prosecutors said.
Jarrell, a former student at the school, had posted all-cap messages on Reddit referencing high-profile school shooters, including Columbine gunmen Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, as well as Virginia Tech murderer Seung-Hui Cho, NBC News reports.
“RIP Dylan and Eric,” Jarrell wrote in the posts, according to a plea agreement. “Im about to do it better than Cho.”
Jarrell was arrested in October 2018 after a New Jersey woman alerted police that he sent her racially motivated harassing messages on Facebook, NBC News reports.
Jarrell admitted to planning the attack and to buying the AR-15 as part of his plot, federal prosecutors said. He pleaded guilty in November to several counts, including possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and lying to FBI officials.
“Halted by the work of dedicated law enforcement professionals who confronted and stopped him, Dylan Jarrell was intent on committing horrific acts of violence on innocent people,” US Attorney Robert Duncan said. “The investigation conducted by [Kentucky State Police] and FBI personnel almost certainly saved lives.”
Jarrell’s attorney, meanwhile, wrote in court documents that his client suffered from mental illness and characterized his plans as “weak at best,” NBC News reports.
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