‘I am the next school shooter’: Email to FOX61 leads to arrest of Vernon man

VERNON -- A threat to become the "next school shooter" ended with a Vernon man facing charges.

On Monday night, the FOX61 newsroom got an alarming email message from Oscar Rodriguez, 24, who made the startling claim.

When police went to arrest him at his Prospect Street home, they said he tried to fill the home with natural gas. The apartment building was then evacuated without injury.

Rodriguez now faces threatening and breach of peace charges and was in court on Tuesday.

Vernon police are still investigating and said they expect to file more charges.

According to the arrest warrant, state police said Rodriguez was drunk and passed out on the floor when they got to his apartment on Prospect Street.

It also said Rodriguez confirmed the same email address and phone number listed in the threatening message but he told police he had no recollection of sending the email.

However, Rodriguez did admit he has done “some stupid stuff” like calling Vernon police and threatening to hurt himself and to shoot responding officers.

The paperwork also says state police talked to Rodriguez’s mom who said her son drinks often and it sounded like he was drunk when she last talked to him. Rodriguez told police he was home alone the entire day and no one had access to his phone, but he later changed his story.

He said he had a friend over and that multiple people have access to his email address and phone numbers.

Police said there were no weapons in the home and no specific school was threatened. Regardless, Vernon police said they are working with local schools to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Vernon Superintendent of schools Joseph Macary released the following statement:

"Last night the Vernon Police Department assisted the Connecticut State Police with a case involving a town resident, who  reportedly shared threatening comments with Channel 61 News.  According to Police, the threat was not made to any specific school.  Police located the suspect at his residence and he was arrested and taken into custody. 

This person did not pose a credible threat to any Vernon School.  The Vernon Police and School officials work collaboratively to ensure the safety and security of all students and staff.  For more information, please see the attached press release from the Vernon Police Department.  Thank you for your time and consideration."