This afternoon, Missouri S&T was notified that the Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney’s office had filed charges against Alexander Beetler, a recently enrolled Missouri S&T student. The charges are related to threats Beetler allegedly made on Sunday, Jan. 21, to open fire on campus with an assault rifle. At the time of the alleged threats, Beetler was nowhere near campus or Rolla. Police stopped him near Lebanon, Missouri, approximately 60 miles southwest of Rolla. No weapon was found in his vehicle or on his person, and Beetler was taken into custody.
Because the situation did not pose an immediate threat to campus or the campus community, the university did not issue an alert to S&T students, faculty and staff on Sunday.
Missouri S&T University Police investigated the matter and obtained a search warrant for Beetler’s residence. During the search, a weapon and ammunition were found.
The Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney’s office charged Beetler with first-degree terroristic threat, armed criminal action and first-degree assault. Beetler remains in custody. He has been temporarily suspended from Missouri S&T.
This situation has attracted media interest. Any member of the S&T community – student, faculty or staff – who is contacted by a reporter is advised to refer the reporter to marketing and communications at 573-341-4328 or firstname.lastname@example.org.