Friends of a Washington state man accused of threatening a shooting rampage at his former high school have been arrested on charges of intimidating witnesses who brought the alleged plot to the attention of police, officials said on Wednesday.
Matthew Smiley, 18, was charged on Monday with felony harassment and ordered held on $2 million bail for making multiple threats to “shoot up” his former high school in Kingston, on the Kitsap Peninsula, west of Seattle, court officials said.
“Witnesses also reported the young man had access to firearms and had displayed these weapons as a point of emphasis,” the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said.
Firearms were discovered in Smiley’s car, officials said.
On Tuesday, authorities arrested four of Smiley’s friends -three juveniles and a 19-year-old transient – on charges of making violent threats over social media to student witnesses who had reported Smiley to the police.
All four were awaiting arraignment on a single count of witness intimidation, a court official said on Wednesday.
The student witnesses said Smiley was angry about his expulsion last year and had said he was going to stage a shooting rampage at the building on Sept. 11.
Smiley was charged with felony harassment and unlawful possession of a firearm. His attorney could not immediately be contacted.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Eric Beech)
[‘Gun in school’ on Shutterstock]