An 18-year-old now sits in jail with a $500,000 bond after a school resource officer approached Duncan Police detectives and reported a school threat on Monday, Oct. 14.
Brandon Douglas Hays, of Duncan, faces a charge for terrorism hoax, a violation of the state’s anti-terrorism act.
This would make the fourth threat against Duncan schools since the beginning of the school year, including an unverified social media post which was investigated early Thursday, Sept. 5; a statement from an early childhood student on a bus which was investigated after school Friday, Sept. 6; and an alleged threat which lead to another minor Duncan student being arrested Oct. 2.
Superintendent Tom Deighan confirmed this was a separate incident from the Oct. 2 arrest and said at no time were students in danger.
“After meeting with police and consulting with the District Attorney’s office, I can confirm that they have arrested and charged an adult student in connection with threats made outside of school hours and off campus,” Deighan said. “The police arrested the student before he was able to return to school after making the threats, so no students or staff were ever in any danger. Once again, I cannot express my appreciation (enough) to local law enforcement, and I can confidently affirm that we are united in this. Duncan Public Schools will not tolerate threats against staff or students, hoax or otherwise.”
Previously, Deighan expressed that under Senate Bill 1150, passed in 2018, any threat revolving around schools or students must now be handled with police, including jokes, hoaxes or otherwise.
According to police records, Detective James Egger met with the administration at Duncan High School around 4:24 p.m. Oct. 14, where they advised Egger an underage student reported Hays inviting them to his residence so they could “play rock music very loud where no one could hear them.” The student told administration when they declined the invitation, Hays allegedly said “he was going to come to school wearing a leather jacket, playing ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ and going to shoot up the school,’” according to police reports.
The student, along with one other minor student who was there when it was said, interviewed with police and told Detective Egger about the conversation, which the student said occurred before school in the alley south of the west building of the high school. Again, the student told detectives Hays allegedly said “Come to my house later and I can play rock music so loud no one can hear a thing” and when close to the main building, Hays allegedly said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if I wore an oversized jacket to school, shooting up the school while playing ‘Pumped Up Kicks.’”
In the interview, it was confirmed neither minor student responded to Hays and instead parted ways, reports show.
The second unnamed student also told detectives Hayes allegedly said, “Everyone thinks I’m going to be the next school bomber, maybe I should be” and that Hayes also told them he could “always get bombing fluid from somewhere,” affidavits state.
In an interview with Hays at the Duncan Police Department, Hays told detectives he did say “maybe I should play the part, wear a long coat at school playing Pumped Up Kicks.” When asked what the song was in reference to, Hays stated it was about the school shooting at Columbine.
Hays also told police anyone who heard that who knew him would think it was a joke but agreed others who didn’t know him could take it as a threat and he should not have said that. Hays denied making statements about shooting up the school or bombing or bombing materials.
Hays is set for a preliminary hearing conference at 9 a.m. Nov. 27.