(TheBlaze/AP) – A 46-year-old woman has been arrested and charged with threatening a public official after threatening to “smuggle in a gun and kill” South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, according to WYFF4.
Liberty police arrested Jennifer Phillips Tuesday after she told her potential plan to a school official with the Santa’s Workshop program where she was a parent volunteer.
After being notified of the threat, Liberty Middle School Principal Lowell Haynes explained: “I felt like it was something that I needed to notify law enforcement and let them handle it from there. It’s not up to me to decide if there’s intent there. I felt like that’s their job let them investigate and decide just turn it over to them.”
Pickens County School District spokesman John Eby said Phillips is a regular volunteer at Liberty Elementary, and alarmingly, Haley was scheduled to speak there Tuesday morning.
According to reports, Phillips was arrested before Haley arrived, and is scheduled to appear before a judge Tuesday evening.
She maintains that she was just joking, however, and says she doesn’t even own a gun, according to WYFF4.
Gov. Haley’s stop at the school was centered around leadership and bullying prevention for third through fifth graders.
The principal concluded: “It’s a great moment for the city of Liberty and for our students at Liberty Elementary School and I kind of hope that that’s the focus of this — that a community member’s ill-advised statement doesn’t reign over the message that she brought our students today, and that’s what a leader is.”