Skip to main content

Charges: Man who threatened shooting at Duluth school compared self to Vegas shooter

Schools throughout Duluth went into lock down on Friday, April 5.
travis john anthony warner busch

A man charged with threatening a school shooting in Duluth compared himself to the shooter who killed 58 people in Las Vegas in October 2017. 

The alarming details are described in a criminal complaint against 35-year-old Travis John Anthony Warner Busch, of Duluth, who has been charged in St. Louis County District Court with felony counts of making terroristic threats and possession of a machine gun conversion kit. 

According to charging documents, police were alerted to the threats from Busch at approximately 12:11 p.m. on Friday. Schools citywide went into soft lockdown while Duluth East High School went into a full lockdown once police learned that Busch was inside the school, where he worked as a job coach supervising a student in the school's cafeteria. 

Police arrived at East High School with weapons drawn and arrested Busch without incident after finding him locked inside a cold storage room in the cafeteria. Busch was not armed, but a search of his vehicle turned up a .357 pistol that was cocked and loaded with with a hollow point round in the chamber. 

The criminal complaint quotes messages sent from Busch to the person who alerted police to the threats. Busch is quoted as saying: 

  • "Don't do that I will murder every cop at my door." 
  • "I can get in with a few machine guns, kill the one officer first and go to town."
  • "Oh by the way this is hypothetical." 
  • "If the cops come they will die through the door." 
  • "Just pretend you didn't hear, I am going to do what I do." 
  • "There are no innocent." 

The complaint also reveals that Busch referred to a previous school shooter as "my hero." It adds that Busch compared his "capabilities to the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas" during a music festival, when 58 people were killed and hundreds others injured. 

Furthermore, Busch is quoted as saying he had "lots of plans" and could padlock shut a movie theater and shoot people like "fish in a barrel," in addition to threatening a shooting at the high school. 

"I'm at school and I don't' know what I am going to do. I seem to still lack the fortitude to take this gun out and start shooting," Busch is quoted as saying in a message. 

A later search of Busch's home revealed numerous firearms, including a loaded 8mm Mauser bolt-action rifle, a pump-style Remington rifle, a loaded Beretta handgun, a Ruger with a scope and banana-style magazine along with equipment that could've allowed him to turn it into a fully automatic weapon.  

"Today we had a call which was cause for great concern. A man was threatening to do a shooting at a school of unspecified location," said Duluth Chief of Police Mike Tusken in a release to the public following the incident.

"DPD worked in earnest to locate the suspect and arrested him at East High School after 59 minutes from the initial report to 911. All staff was mobilized to go to every public, private and parochial school in the city and we learned the suspect was likely in the east side of the city and resources were shifted."

Next Up

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Minneapolis teen charged in carjacking, chase that left 2 dead

Two 16-year-olds died when the SUV they crashed in was split in half.

BasswoodMug

Minnesota woman who pointed gun at officer sentenced to 10 years in prison

The sheriff's deputy shot the woman multiple times in the incident.

TiresRoadForestLake

Who left tires all over the road in Forest Lake?

Authorities said they would "love to chat" with the people responsible.

AlexanderKueng

Ex-cop Kueng sentenced to 3½ years in prison in killing of George Floyd

Kueng pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in October.

MinneapolisChildGoFundMe

Effort to support flu-stricken boy who spent his birthday on ventilator

The 10-year-old has been on a ventilator after complications followed.

nbm-conus-ncentus-total_snow_10to1-1170400

What's the latest on next week's major snowstorm system?

The storm is coming. It's just a matter of where the biggest snow totals occur.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.01.44 PM

Twin Cities radio host Matt McNeil seriously injured in crash

A post on his social media account says he'll recover.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 12.48.55 PM

Marshalls in downtown Minneapolis to close its doors to shoppers

The company confirmed it will be open until mid-January.

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 9.45.35 AM

Boys aged 12 and 14 arrested after fleeing police in stolen car

The two boys were charged with felony fleeing in a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property.

JackknifedSemiI35

Heavy snow brings multiple crashes to southern Minnesota roads

The snowfall is expected to end sometime Friday morning.

Cheetah Pizza

Edina pizza joint quietly closes after 38 years

The restaurant was located at 5125 Edina Industrial Blvd.

Related

Man inside Duluth East HS arrested after threatening shooting

Police entered the school with weapons drawn on Friday.

Teen arrested after threatening shooting at Burnsville High School

The teen allegedly commented on an Instagram post saying "I'm sending shooter buddy."

Girl, 15, arrested for threatening to 'shoot up' Minnesota school

The girl allegedly threatened to "shoot up" the southern Minnesota high school.

Student arrested for threatening school shooting in Winona

Another student informed school staff of a threatening video.

Schools in South St. Paul close after threat of shooting

Schools were closed out of an abundance of caution.

Ausineese Aubin Dufault

Teen killed in Duluth Monday was recently charged in shooting

The 16-year-old was found dead after a report of a shooting Monday morning.

Screen Shot 2021-08-12 at 8.26.51 AM

Man arrested for attempted murder in Duluth drive-by shooting

The shooting took place near the intersection of 15th Avenue East and Superior Street.