Man accused of 2021 threat to Vinita schools in custody

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An Arizona man accused of calling in an active shooter and bomb threat that prompted Vinita High School to lock down the school for several hours is in custody in a North Carolina jail.

James Thomas Andrew McCarty, 20, is facing 26 counts in United States District Court in Arizona for calling schools and police departments and threatening to shoot people and blow-up buildings.  

The federal indictment lists four charges, making a false statement, false information and hoax, stalking and aggravated identity theft.

In January 2021, McCarty is accused of calling the Vinita School District saying he “was at the high school and about to shoot with guns” and “would shoot at propane bottles,” according to the federal indictment.  

The call caused the school to immediately go into lockdown and prompted a huge response from police, state troopers, and firefighters from Craig, Ottawa, and Delaware counties, and the Oklahoma Highway patrol.

McCarty is also accused of assuming the identity of a Vinita student during the telephone hoax telephone call, the court document states.

The telephone calls originated from Kayenta, Arizona and were made to schools and police stations in Oklahoma, Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, and Ohio.

A detention hearing is set for Tuesday at 10 A.M. in Charlotte, NC, court documents show.

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