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Dec 11, 2015 11:30 PM

Police: Arkansas State suspect decided not to shoot others

The Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) The gunman who prompted a campus lockdown at Arkansas State University said he initially wanted to shoot other people but changed his mind and was planning on killing himself before he was arrested, police said Friday.

Brad Kenneth Bartelt was charged Friday with aggravated assault, terroristic threatening, possession of explosive material and carrying a firearm in a publicly owned facility. His bond was set at $50,000. A judge denied Bartelt's request to be appointed a public defender.

Bartelt, 47, of Jonesboro, had a 12-gauge shotgun, along with containers of gasoline and propane, when he drove his truck onto a plaza east of the student union, Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said.

Bartelt called 911 after driving onto the plaza and told dispatchers he was on campus with a gun, police said in a report released Friday. While talking with negotiators, he waved his gun and threatened to shoot the propane tank, the report said.

After he was taken into custody, Bartelt told police he was upset over an injury he received in 2012 while training to drive an 18-wheeler at Arkansas State's Newport campus, 45 miles away.

"He said they did not treat him right and pay for certain expenses and bills resulting from the injury," the report said. "He stated that he was going to come to the university and shoot other people but he realized that murder would be wrong, so he was going kill himself."

In a Facebook post Wednesday, Bartelt said he was feeling homicidal and suicidal and complained about a recent decision in a Social Security case, police said.

Emergency center audio released by Jonesboro police Friday included a recording from a man identified by officers as Bartelt.

"I don't want no incidents, but I'm just tired of, hell, I've been beat for three years so you might want to send somebody up here," Bartelt said. "You might want to send a news agency or two out."

He told the emergency operator that his shotgun had only one shell.

Bartelt was injured in August 2012 when his driving partner ran over him when he was retrieving a 50-pound barrel, according to a filing with the state worker's compensation commission.

Bartelt last year agreed to a $787,500 settlement with ASU-Newport's insurance carrier for the accident, with $262,500 of that going to a Memphis hospital where he was treated for his injuries, according to documents released by the university system Friday.

Bartelt was enrolled in a four-week training course for commercial truckers at the time of the accident.

Elliott said at a Thursday news conference that Bartelt never pointed a weapon toward officers.

The chief said that, when he arrived, Bartelt was sitting in the truck with his foot out the window and the shotgun visible, yelling something inaudible. He said from "time-to-time" Bartelt would get out of the truck and slosh gasoline on the truck or hold the shotgun to his chin. Bartelt eventually threw the shotgun down and surrendered, Elliott said.

Bartelt told police he was on several psychiatric medications and painkillers, according to the report released Friday. Police said they found an AR-15 during a search of Bartelt's home after his arrest.

"He also stated that he was seeing demons in the woods around his house and had tried to photograph them, but was not able to get their pictures," the report said.

Bartelt's next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 29.


Associated Press Writer Jill Bleed contributed to this report.


Follow Andrew DeMillo on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ademillo


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