BARNSTABLE (CBS) – A 51-year-old man is facing charges after police say he threatened to shoot students at Cape Cod Community College in Barnstable. Officers say Mark Jones got mad when a class he wanted to enroll in was full. That’s when he allegedly told a staffer to give him the names of students in the class so he could shoot them to make room.
“You can’t say that anymore and it really disturbed our staff. It really was something that had to be acted upon and was,” said Michael Gross, Director of College Communications at the school.
Classes don’t resume until the 28th for spring semester, but the admissions office was still full of employees and students. Police say Jones was overheard mentioning getting a shotgun as he left the building.
Barnstable Police sent six cruisers to campus. They later found Jones at a friend’s house, where he said he was just kidding and that he didn’t even own a gun.
“I was driving over here and I just passed by and I saw two police cars coming in,” said a former student who didn’t want his identity revealed. He is thinking about enrolling again and joke or not, says he’s glad the threat was taken seriously. “I think the school did right. They handled it right to call the police and check on him and even though he said he was just kidding you never know. You don’t want to take a chance,” he said.
Michael Gross agrees. With recent tragedies, including the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, he feels college staff did exactly as they should’ve when faced with a threat that made them uncomfortable. “We’re past the days when somebody could toss that off as ‘well he was just a very unhappy person.’ Horribly, people are acting on being very unhappy today,” Gross said.
Jones is facing two charges, including disturbing a school assembly and threat to commit a crime, both misdemeanors. He is in jail and will undergo a mental evaluation Wednesday.