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Boone school threat serious to deputies


A Boone County man is jailed on charges of making threats of terror at a local grade school.  However, equally concerning to sheriff’s deputies is why it took so long for them to learn about it.


Deputies arrested Herman Dewayne Pickens, 53, at Sherman Grade School in Seth.   Deputies say he showed up wearing an empty holster on his belt, but made several remarks indicating the next time he came to the school it wouldn’t be empty.

“He made references to the holster and said, ‘It’s so bad I had to leave my gun in the car.  Next time I won’t leave it in the car,'” said Chief Deputy Chad Barker.

Deputies found a loaded .40 caliber handgun in his car.  

However, this was the first time it had happened.

“We weren’t alerted about it until Tuesday,” said Barker. “There’d been some previous instances earlier in the month several times.”

The morning after learning of the threat deputies went to the school which was running on a two-hour delay.  Barker said Pickens just happened to show up again, making the same threats.   Investigators are now working with the school board to learn why they weren’t alerted until well after it had happened several times.

“We were very surprised and taken aback they waited to call,” said Barker. “We felt the guy was a legitimate threat, bad enough to send an officer to school.”

Investigators are now working with the school board to investigate the reporting of the incident.  Barker says there are also issue with how it was reported.  He wouldn’t elaborate on how they learned about the threat, but indicated it may not have come through the normal protocol which would have been expected in such an incident.


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