‘Children… going to die’ Second threat jails one

A Barbourville man is behind bars after police report he threatened local schools, saying innocent children were going to die.

Most recently, the Barbourville Police Department received a call reporting the threats on February 27. According to Chief Winston Tye, a local business reported that Kenneth Miller, 43, of Barbourville, came into their office stating there was going to be a school shooting and that innocent children were going to die. Miller allegedly stated that it would take a parent with loose screws and that he had loose screws. 

The threats were made toward Jesse D. Lay Elementary and Central Elementary schools, both which were put in lockdown.

“Both Central Elementary and Jesse D. Lay Elementary were made aware of this situation and implemented soft lockdown procedures as a precautionary measure,” said Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles in a letter issued to parents.

An arrest warrant was issued for Miller for second-degree terroristic threatening. Chief Tye, along with officers Eric Martin and Chad Wagner, located Miller at his residence within one and a half hours of the initial call and placed him under arrest. Miller was lodged in the Knox County Detention Center.

“I want to assure you that we will always take any type of threat seriously and have the full cooperation of local and state law enforcement,” continued Sprinkles. “I appreciate your continued support of a safe learning environment for our students.”

This makes twice Miller has been arrested on second-degree terroristic threatening charges in less than a month.

On January 31, officials reported that Miller called Kentucky Department of Education offices making threats toward the Knox County school system, specifically Lay Elementary School.

Officials with KDE contacted Kentucky State Police Post 10 Harlan at about 2:30 p.m. that day, quoting Miller saying, “If schools don’t start doing something for special needs, parents are going to start shooting up schools. Am I supposed to beat up the principal?”

Miller was arrested by KSP after those threats, too. KSP Detective Jacob Wilson and BPD Officer Martin are continuing the investigation.