Professor suggests Texas style massacre in Facebook post
Matthew Rouch mug shot
MARYVILLE, MO (KCTV) -
An investigation was launched after police say a professor threatened a massacre at his university, and authorities say they uncovered a significant amount of marijuana growing inside his home.
Northwest Missouri State University officials said Friday that mass communications professor Matthew Rouch has been placed on administrative leave, and has been ordered to stay off university property.
Rouch, 57, has been charged with producing and possessing a controlled substance. Ten live marijuana plans, weighing about 35 grams, along with drug paraphernalia was found inside the home, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors allege that Rouch had a significant growing operation inside his residence.
Police went to Rouch's home after he had an exchange on Facebook with another instructor in which Rouch said he begins the school year hopeful but those feelings quickly wane.
"By October, I'll be wanting to get up to the top of the Bell Tower with a high-powered rifle with a good scope and probably a Gatling gun as well," he wrote.
In 1966, Charles Joseph Whitman, a 25-year-old student and former Marine, fatally stabbed his wife and mother. He then climbed atop the University of Texas at Austin's iconic tower armed with numerous weapons. For about 90 minutes, he fired away. He killed 16 and wounded 31 on that day.
It was for decades the deadliest school shooting in United States history.
On Wednesday, university officials learned of Rouch's Facebook post, which has been removed.
Both law enforcement and university officials launched separate investigations. Rouch was arrested on Friday, and a search warrant served at his home on Friday. No Gatling was found in that search.
Because prosecutors would have to establish Rouch's intent and that he wasn't joking, Rouch won't be charged for the Facebook post. Prosecutors also said that Rouch claimed he had a bomb in his briefcase as he walked into a campus building.
An investigation will determine whether Rouch should face disciplinary action, including termination, for his actions, university officials said in a news release.
Other professors are taking over Rouch's teaching and advising duties.
"The university places the utmost importance on the safety and security of all students, faculty, staff and visitors," Northwest Missouri officials said in a statement. "University policies explicitly prohibit violence and threats of violence against members of the University community. University policies also explicitly prohibit employees from possessing, purchasing, manufacturing, using, selling, and/or distributing illegal drugs while on university property or as a part of any university activities."
Rouch's arrest divided students. Some students said the threat was scary, and shouldn't have happened.
But Christian Grady said he doubted that Rouch intended any violence.
"I believe some initial investigation should have been done to determine his actual intent," Grady said. "If people know him, know his humor, they know this is very typical of him to say."
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