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Cottage Grove man jailed, faces charges in connection with school shooting threats

A Cottage Grove man is in the Washington County Jail facing charges in connection with threats to shoot up Park High School.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced the charges Friday against Tyler Giebner, 18. Giebner is charged with terroristic threats, a felony.

He was taken into custody March 21 at his home on 77th Street after Cottage Grove police responded to a call from Giebner’s mother. According to a statement of probable cause, she told the officer that her son had told her he was going to get a firearm and “shoot up either someone’s house or a school.” 

Police said that Giebner’s mother told them her son was angry because he had lent his brother’s bike to a friend several weeks ago. She said the her son became upset when the friend, who lives in Oakdale, reneged on a promise to give her son a ride home with the bicycle.

Giebner admitted to the responding officer that he had made the threat, which involved getting an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle with an ammunition drum and bringing it to Park High School and “walk in there and ‘pow, pow, pow.’”

When asked if he had any access to weapons. Giebner told police he was saving money from his job at a fast-food restaurant to buy an AR-15 semi-automatic.

Giebner, who said that he had anger problems, was transported voluntarily to Region’s Hospital for evaluation. A social worker at the hospital called Cottage Grove police later that day to inform them that Giebner had repeated his threats.

District 833 superintendent Keith Jacobus was not available for comment, but communications director Shelly Schafer shared a message that Jacobus sent out to families of Park High School students.

"We were notified today that the Washington County Attorney’s office issued an arrest warrant for an 18-year-old Cottage Grove man who made a threat against Park High School," the statement read. "We can confirm that this man does not currently attend Park High School, nor has he attended Park High School for the past 2 years. Initially, it was not clear that his threat was directed at Park, which is why we were not notified about a direct threat.

"That said, we are working with the Cottage Grove Police Department and will do everything we can to ensure the safety and security of our students. We will continue to monitor the situation and, through our partnership with the Cottage Grove Police Department, will make any adjustments, if necessary, to our security procedures to ensure all of our students are safe upon their return after spring break."

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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