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Federal firearms charge added for man accused of school shooting threat
Thomas Shannon Bruce
Thomas Shannon Bruce

A Clermont man previously accused of threatening to shoot up Wauka Mountain Elementary is now facing an indictment in federal court regarding firearm possession, according to court documents.

Thomas Shannon Bruce was indicted by a Hall County grand jury Oct. 15 of terroristic threats, possession of methamphetamine, disrupting a public school and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. 

According to the indictment, Bruce allegedly told his wife Sept. 5 “he was going to shoot up the school in 15 minutes” and sent her a text message reading “bang, bang.” He is also accused of going to his residence and retrieving a shotgun, according to court records.

On Oct. 17, the U.S. District Court in Gainesville filed a criminal indictment. The grand jury charged him with possessing seven firearms despite a previous felony conviction for burglary in Jackson County Superior Court.

Attorney Jason Burruss, who is representing Bruce on the local charges, said he is not currently representing the Clermont man on federal charges. No attorney was listed for Bruce on the online court records database.

Burruss said they have filed a motion for discovery and a bond hearing.

“I’m looking forward to receiving the discovery from the state and continuing to defend Mr. Bruce,” he said.

According to the District Court indictment, Bruce was accused of having a 12-gauge shotgun, one .22 caliber rifle, three .243 WIN caliber rifles and two 30-30 caliber rifles.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office previously told The Times Bruce had called the school to inquire about checking his child out of class, but he was not authorized to do so.

School officials have characterized the dispute as a potential custody situation.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not disclose any further information on the case.

“In cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s office, it was decided to take the firearms charge resulting from the investigation of this matter federally,” wrote Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh. “My office will continue to prosecute other charges concerning defendant Bruce.”

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