A UF student is in jail after threatening a violent massacre at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He was previously under a UF code of conduct investigation for harassment, “endangering behavior” and sexual harassment.
James Kelly, a 36-year-old business finance student living in Bowling Green, Florida, was arrested by the Bowling Green Police Department Monday for written threats to kill, do bodily injury or conduct a mass shooting or act of terrorism, according to an arrest report from the department.
According to the report, Kelly drafted a manifesto to an Alligator reporter instructing them to change an article written about him or “I will gladly blame you for the needless deaths of all future VT students.”
In the letter, Kelly states that he’s a “prophet from God” and is determined to “become a terrorist and die for this cause.” He presents an ultimatum to society, listing demands such as releasing the 2007 Virginia Tech shooter’s manifesto, ending women’s right to vote and limiting the enrollment of Chinese people at Ivy League universities.
The Alligator previously reported on Kelly’s history of harassment and violent threats, including his online threats to rape UF students.
UF spokesperson Steve Orlando declined to comment. Maj. Brad Barber with University Police said Kelly’s arrest isn’t being handled by UPD because it falls outside of their jurisdiction. He declined to comment on the specifics of the arrest.
When reached by email, the Virginia Tech Police Department asked to defer any questions to the university’s spokesperson or the Bowling Green Police Department, who it said is leading the investigation.
Mark Owczarski, a spokesperson for Virginia Tech, declined to comment on any specifics regarding Kelly or his arrest. However, he confirmed with The Alligator that the university does not have an open investigation into Kelly at this time.
Chief John Scheel with the Bowling Green Police Department, the arresting officer from Monday, also declined to comment on any details regarding Kelly’s arrest.
“We knew what we had to do,” Scheel said. “He electronically communicated the threat, and we took care of the problem and put him in jail.”
Kelly remains in Hardee County Jail in lieu of a $5,000 bond as of Tuesday afternoon.