Police officer to follow Moscow man who threatened to shoot up t - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Police officer to follow Moscow man who threatened to shoot up two schools

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MOSCOW, Idaho -

A 26-year-old Moscow man who threatened to "shoot up" two Moscow schools on April 18 will be followed by a police officer on that day, Moscow Police Chief James Fry said Wednesday. 

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that Fry told attendees of Wednesday's League of Women Voters of Moscow meeting that he will assign an officer to monitor the man, 26-year-old Michael Mastro.

Mastro made the threat last month in a comment on a YouTube podcast. Per Idaho law, officers were only able to issue a citation to Mastro because there wasn't any evidence that he had weapons or plans to act on the comments he made. 

"I know this is an emotional time," Fry said at Wednesday's meeting. "I know that as a police chief, and I know that as a dad. I feel your anxiety - but I refuse to allow my anxiety to stop me from doing what I do and sending my kids out into the world."

According to the Daily News, Moscow School District Superintendent Greg Bailey was also in attendance Wednesday, and voiced that his main priority is to ensure the safety of his district's students. Bailey said the biggest challenge is protect children while maintaining a sense of normalcy without panic. 

In response to the threat against the schools, Bailey said he's has many parents say they will be making more appearances at the schools. According to the Daily News, Bailey said that might complicate things. 

"To have a lot of parents at the schools in the next days is actually making our jobs a lot harder because we are looking out for strangers," Bailey said.

Bailey mentioned that one parent told him that he planned to wait at the high school on April 18 with his own gun. Bailey said he told the parent that that, "If you do that, someone else is going to think you're the shooter."

MSD Staff Director Charlie Gerke, also in attendance at Wednesday's meeting, said that over the past 10 years, the Moses Lake School District and Moses Lake Police Department have partnered to create a course of action in the event of a school threat. Gerke said that everyone from grounds keepers and bus drivers to principals have been trained on what to do in the event of a threat.

"As a community, we have to realize the best thing that you can do for us and the first responders is to wait and get some information," Gerke said. "We will bring the kids off site in the aftermath of those incidents and send out instructions. The whole idea with that is to prevent mass chaos and allow first responders to get in and do the work that they need to do."

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