BUFFALO, W.Va. — A worker at the Toyota Plant in Putnam County was charged Friday with making terroristic threats after allegedly threatening to shoot up the plant while purchasing ammunition at the Walmart in Nitro before he went to work, authorities said.
Michael John Kroll, 46, of Charleston, was arraigned on felony charges after being detained by Putnam County sheriff’s deputies at the plant.
According to the criminal complaint, at about 5:30 a.m. Friday Kroll was in the sporting goods section where he wanted to purchase ammunition for an AR-15, a .357 magnum pistol and a .45 caliber pistol. The Walmart worker told police Kroll became agitated when his payroll check would not clear and he allegedly said he was going to take his AR-15 to Toyota and “shoot the place up.”
The Walmart workers then call Nitro police who then contacted the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Putnam County Chief Deputy Eric Hayzlett said.
Putnam County authorities went to the plant where Kroll had already reported to work for the day. The criminal complaint said Kroll was found inside the plant “with a magazine for a .45 caliber weapon with 8 rounds of ammunition in it.”
Hayslett said it appears Kroll was not carrying a gun in the plant.
“He didn’t have it on his person is the best way we can answer that at this time,” Hayzlett said. “Whether it’s at the facility, as the investigation progresses and we do some search warrants we may have an answer to that, but at this point we do not.”
The complaint said Kroll was later read his rights and “admitted to telling the Walmart employees that he was going to go to Toyota and tear it off the frame.”
In a statement released by Toyota, company officials said they were thankful for the quick response by law enforcement.
“We appreciate the swift action of local authorities,” the statement said. “The safety and security of our team members is our top priority, and we are working closely with local law enforcement.”
A conviction on a terroristic threat charge carries a 1 to 3 year prison term. Kroll’s bail was set at $50,000 cash only by a Putnam County magistrate. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 6.