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UNCC student arrested after telling doctor he ‘could not wait’ for school shooting

A UNC Charlotte student who made threats about a shooting at the school this month will be arrested for trespassing if he comes on campus, officials said. He’s in a hospital.
A UNC Charlotte student who made threats about a shooting at the school this month will be arrested for trespassing if he comes on campus, officials said. He’s in a hospital. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte student who wrote about why he wanted to commit a school shooting has been released from the hospital and was arrested, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office website.

Matthew Saavedra, 20, has been charged with making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property. He will be arrested for trespassing if he comes onto UNCC’s campus, university police have said.

Police found blueprints of campus buildings and evacuation plans this month in Saavedra’s off-campus apartment, according to search warrants.

Saavedra discussed an “explicit detailed plan...about killing and harming our students and staff,” a UNCC police officer wrote in one search warrant. When police searched his room, they found the university’s emergency response guide attached to his wall, opened to the page about active shooters.

UNCC police learned about potential issues with Saavedra on March 3, when a police officer in King, northwest of Winston-Salem, called to say that he had gone to a medical clinic in King to talk with a doctor about ongoing mental health issues.

Saavedra told the doctor “he could not wait to buy a gun and shoot the university (UNCC) up,” adding that he was fascinated by school shootings and frequently used Reddit to learn about them, the search warrant said.

The doctor in King was worried enough to contact police, and Saavedra was voluntarily committed to a hospital in Winston-Salem.

A search warrant said that even though Saavedra is not allowed on campus, he has said he’ll stay in an apartment near the university.

UNCC sent a NinerNotice informational alert to students Tuesday, informing them of Saavedra’s arrest. An alert eight days earlier told students about a threat of gun violence on campus, related to the same case.

Police seized a laptop, posters, composition books and blueprints from Saavedra’s room but did not find any weapons, according to the search warrants.

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