Man accused of making terroristic threats referencing Natchez and Vidalia schools has been arrested
Published 1:32 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2022
NATCHEZ — A man accused of making mass shooting threats referencing Natchez and Vidalia high schools has been arrested.
Law enforcement and school officials were notified Sunday of a “terroristic threat” made referencing Natchez High School and Vidalia High School.
The Vidalia Police Department and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office were able to identify and locate the caller that made the threat from Hot Springs, Arkansas.
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The caller, identified as Kenneth Allen Moody, faces charges of making terroristic threats by both law enforcement agencies. Moody is in custody and is awaiting extradition back to Louisiana and Mississippi, authorities said.
Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said it’s unclear why Moody threatened the schools. His ties to them are unknown at this time and the investigation continues, he said.
“These types of threats are taken very seriously in light of what has been happening all across the nation that concerns our schools and the children who attend them,” Patten said. “The suspect will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The Adams County Sheriff’s Office worked hand in hand with officials from the Natchez Adams School District and Vidalia Police Department to ensure the safety of the students and staff within Adams County and Vidalia.”
Patten also said the dispatcher with the Vidalia Police Department “did an exceptional job and obtained some key information from the suspect,” which led directly to his arrest.
“She deserves to be commended on the job that she did along with the investigators from the Vidalia Police Department and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “They were able to get the suspect identified in a short period of time which enabled both agencies to coordinate with Hot Springs Police Department to ensure his arrest. After warrants were signed and issued. Moody was apprehended shortly after that without incident. This was a great example of agencies working hand in hand in three different states and with Adams County and Concordia school districts to ensure the safety of all staff and students by communicating with each other.”
Patten said Moody is currently on probation in Arkansas.
On May 14, 2019, he was convicted of aggravated assault and making terroristic threats in Hot Springs and also has a criminal history in Florida and Louisiana.
“To all students, faculty staff and parents, we want to make it clear that any threats will be taken seriously and acted upon as such—as you’ve seen with this incident. As a parent with children in Natchez Adams School District, I will be making sure my children do not miss their first day of school and I ask that the community does the same with their children,” Patten said.
Students officially start school in Natchez-Adams School District on Thursday, July 28, and in Concordia Parish School District on Aug. 4. However, some students in both school districts start orientations this week.
“We ask you all to not let your kids stay home during this first week of school and we will be at every school on the first day to greet your child with a smile as they come to start the new school year off right,” Patten added.
Superintendent Fred T. Butcher of The Natchez-Adams School District said he is grateful for the actions, cooperation, and constant communication from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
“The safe return of all students and staff and providing a safe and orderly learning environment are of the utmost priority for NASD,” the school district states in a Tuesday news release. “The district will continue, in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies, to update its Crisis Management Plan to ensure the safety of all students and employees.”
Patten said parents with concerns or questions may contact ACSO at 601-442-2752.
“We will be happy to address any concerns,” he said.