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Panther Creek student arrested, had 'hit list'

Posted October 13, 2015
Updated October 14, 2015

Kenneth Tyler Halker
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— A Panther Creek student was arrested last week after assaulting a fellow student and threatening to bring a gun to school to “fill bodies with bullets.”

Police said that on Oct. 5, Kenneth Halker, 17, of Apex, was suspended from school after he assaulted a girl in the cafeteria.

The following day, Halker sent a text message to a male classmate that read “you’re number five on my list.” He then took to Twitter, where, according to a search warrant, he said that he had a hit list, is reckless and planned to return to school with a gun.

A search of social media accounts believed to belong to Halker also showed a photo on Snapchat that depicted two AR-15 assault rifles surrounded by multiple piles of ammunition for various guns. The photo also showed a ballistic vest with rifle ammunition pouches attached and multiple knives. The comment below the Snapchat image asked followers if they thought the threats were just a game.

Halker's father, Ben Halker, stated Tuesday evening that the Snapchat account that the photo was posted to did not belong to his son.

On Oct. 8, Halker was arrested at his home and surrendered his phone to officers. During an interview with police, Halker told them he had been jumped by five male students and those were the people to whom he referred on his hit list. He also stated that he had been depressed and felt like “it was him against the world.”

On Wednesday, Halker's mother said that her son was not depressed.

Ben Halker stated that his son has been the victim of attacks and threats in the past. He also said that his son never had any intention to hurt anyone.

Halker’s father told police that he did keep firearms in the home, but that they were locked away in a safe, and he did not believe his son knew the passcode.

Halker was charged with simple assault and communicating threats. He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 10.

32 Comments

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  • Sara Hauser Oct 14, 2015
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    People who have no intentions of hurting others don't usually make hit lists, IMHO

  • John Snow Oct 14, 2015
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    That is an example of stirring the pot? Really??

  • Ima Native Oct 14, 2015
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    WCPSS does NOTHING to support their documentation that they take bullying seriously. The student reporting the bullying is seen as the problem. Coaches at my kids' high school completely look the other way. My son couldn't GO to the coach about months of bullying because he was afraid that the coach would hold it against him. My husband and I even reported a STUDENT SERVICES COUNSELOR at our daughter's high school for bullying our daughter by representing herself as someone else the first time they met and then using very intimidating, threatening language to her. The principal did absolutely nothing. My kids are both honors/AP students and at the top of their class. AND they have parents to talk through all of this with. But what happens to the kids who don't have a very strong network? It's EXACTLY why things like this happen. Pent up frustration that is not allowed to be heard or is simply just brushed off can become a ticking time bomb.

  • Chad Weaver Oct 14, 2015
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    I hope they get this kid some help, he seemed to open up to the police about how he was feeling and that is a great start. Please don't let him fall through the cracks.

  • Theresa Zadori Oct 14, 2015
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    You just can't make threats like that period no matter what the situation. We don't know the story, but regardless of him being bullied or beat up, you can't threaten to bring a gun to school. Let's also not forget that he's being accused of assaulting a girl. You don't know if that had anything to do with why the kids attached him. We just don't know what really happened, but threatening to shoot people is not going to resolve anything.

  • Tom Laurence Oct 14, 2015
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    Lee - you are correct for stating the obvious - that there is much we do not know. I know the family, and while I do not know all details, there is much that was not reported; perhaps to make a better news story - who knows. Have a great day!

  • Dwight Fields Oct 14, 2015
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    Finally, a parent who gets it. Well said!

  • Tom Laurence Oct 14, 2015
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    Indeed. There are no reports of the kids who bullied this young man. I'm not defending anything he MAY have done, but bullying should have harsher consequences in our schools - instead of schools turning their heads - and they do.

  • Tom Laurence Oct 14, 2015
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    Why don't you hold your harsh comments until the final, complete truth comes out. And you do not know the whole story. Just saying...

  • Sam Adams Oct 14, 2015
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    Well done Laura. There should be more parents out there like you.

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