Barrington Man to Neighbor: ‘Let’s Go Shoot Up the Elementary School’
A tip off from a neighbor made Barrington Police aware of a potential threat against local schools.
The neighbor called police around 12:20 p.m. after Jonathan Tsoronis, 71, made a comment about shooting up an elementary school, although he did not specifically mention Barrington Elementary School by name, according to police chief George Joy.
According to the affidavit of Tsoronis' arrest, he told his neighbor to get his AR rifle and "we can go down to the school and shoot it up." When the neighbor asked what he meant, Tsoronis said to "grab your gun and lets go shoot up the elementary school."
Tsoronis told officers later that he was trying to "make a statement" to his neighbor, who has an assault rifle he is not happy about.
Police were dispatched to the school as well as Barrington Middle School and the Early Childhood Learning Center. Officers also went to Tsoronis' neighborhood while Joy met with school administrators. The decision was to place all schools in a "secure campus" status, which stops anyone from entering or exiting a school building
The secure campus status was located, and Tsoronis was taken into custody as he arrived home with his wife, according to the affidavit. He was charged with criminal threatening and was detained pending his arraignment on Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty and is being held at the Strafford House of Correction. A judge has not yet set bail.
"This investigation and the subsequent arrest were due to a Barrington citizen caring enough to make a call regarding a potentially dangerous threat," Joy said in a statement. The chief encouraged residents who hear or sees anything suspicious to contact police.
He said there will be a meeting between police, emergency management, and school officials to assess the response and determine what went well and what needs improvement.