UPDATE March 1, 2023: Thomas Develin will serve a total of six years in prison for illegal gun sales and threatening to commit mass violence at a Columbus Jewish school and area synagogue where he served as a security guard; more here.
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Thomas Develin will go before a judge for making disturbing threats against a Jewish school, Torah Academy, in east Columbus; he was charged with making a terroristic threat.
According to court documents, the incident started after a mother of an Ohio National Guard member who died was on the website, “Discord.”
She called police after she said she saw a picture of Develin holding a handgun while working as a private security guard at Columbus Torah Academy, a Jewish K-12 school located along Noe Bixby Road.
Develin is accused of posting a statement with the photo that said, “I’m at a Jewish school and about to make it everyone’s problem,” and “The playground is about to turn into a self-defense situation.”
Court records also showed that he made prior specific threats that promoted violence toward law enforcement, minority groups and women.
The watchdog group that monitors hatred and bias towards the Jewish people, StopAntisemitism, posted on Twitter that Develin was a member of the Ohio National Guard according to his LinkedIn page and the entire situation was extremely frightening.
Breaking – Thomas Develin, a security guard at a private Jewish school in Columbus, OH has been arrested after police were made aware of a social media post of Develin holding up his gun with the caption – “I’m at a Jewish school and about to make it everyone’s problem.”
1/2 pic.twitter.com/np2cM8c4Rz— StopAntisemitism.org (@StopAntisemites) April 1, 2022
In a statement from the school, officials said “this threat was an act of antisemitism. It was a cowardly act of intimidation. It was an attempt to silence our Jewish beliefs.”