Austintown company evacuated after threats

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AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – An Austintown company was evacuated late Thursday after several employees told police a fellow employee threatened to shoot everyone.

A complaint was filed in Austintown Area Court on Friday against Michael Rickard, 21. Court records show the charges are aggravated menacing and inducing panic, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

According to an Austintown police report, officers responded to Purfoods, LLC, a wholesale food processing facility at 340 Victoria Road, just before 10 p.m. Thursday. The manager told police Rickard had an altercation with another employee.

The manager said she spoke to Rickard on the phone after he left and during their conversation, Rickard threatened to come back to the business and beat up everyone who mouthed off to him and also to shoot everyone in the building, the police report states.

The manager told police Rickard called back a few minutes later and was calm and told her ‘he has weapons and he can be very deadly if he was to use them,” the police report states.

A second manager told police Rickard came into her office screaming and yelling about people picking on him. She said she tried to calm Rickard down, but he kept yelling. She said Rickard stated “these people will get theirs” and he left her office and slammed the door,” the police report states.

An employee told police he saw Rickard leaving the office and heard him say “I’m gonna shoot/kill everybody in here,” according to the police report.

Several other employees told police that Rickard has a large collection of guns, including AK-47 assault rifles. They said Rickard often shows pictures of his guns on his phone and has had guns in his vehicle.

The general manager shut the business down for the night and sent the employees home.

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