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St. Paul college student couldn't find class, so threatened to shoot staff

The 40-year-old became enraged on the first day of classes.
Paul Moulton

A college student in St. Paul made an online threat to shoot two staff members because he couldn't find his classroom on the first day of tuition.

Paul Moulton, 40, of St. Paul, was charged with making threats of violence, two days after posts he made on Facebook.

The criminal complaint against Moulton says he wrote an offensive post after his Saint Paul College schedule didn't list the correct location of his class, stating: "I am about to lose my [expletive] on this [expletive] school. The classroom on the schedule is NOT where the [expletive] class is!!!”

When a staff member replied to his post, directing him to the college advising center, he wrote a second post that included the line: "It's taking just about everything I have not to grab my shotgun and shoot two [expletives] in the face. ... The universe just doesn't want me to be a goddamn CNC machinist."

It was this post that prompted the staff member to inform school officials.

When police attended the scene on Tuesday, Moulton turned up at the student advising center, where they found a folding knife and brass knuckles on him.

They also found a lockbox under the driver's seat of his car, and he told police he had a shotgun at his girlfriend's house, which he had obtained to protect himself from a former roommate, with whom he had been waging "psychological warfare."

Officers later recovered the shotgun.

Staff at the advising center told police Moulton had complained about not being informed of a classroom location change, which had been sent to his school email. Moulton didn't know he had a school email, prompting more frustration.

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Moulton told police he felt "insulted" when one of the staff in the advising center asked him if he was sure he had the right classroom, saying he felt she was suggesting he couldn't read.

Even after admitting to police he shouldn't have posted the message to Facebook, he said he was on his "last [expletive] nerve" and it was taking "everything he's got not to snap and 'go postal'."

Moulton said it was the second community college he was attending in the Twin Cities, having transferred from Hennepin County Technical College because one of his instructors was "condescending," "demeaning," and "was going to ambush him."

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