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THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007

UGA student jailed after threatening remarks

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A University of Georgia student who was committed after making alarming statements to a professor and confronting police officers with a gun has been jailed.

Brandon Ginyard, 27, of Los Angeles, was taken to East Central Regional Hospital in Augusta for psychological evaluation after the April 30 confrontation and was released into police custody Monday.

He was booked into Clarke County Jail on two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer. On April 30, a judge signed the commitment order and search warrants after authorities said Ginyard made threatening statements during a meeting that morning with the academic director of UGA's Terry College of Business.

Ginyard was agitated and ended the meeting by telling the administrator, "Graduation doesn't matter. I will either be in jail or dead by May 11," police reports say.

The incident came less than a month after the fatal shootings at Virginia Tech, where a mentally disturbed student killed 32 others and himself.

UGA police records obtained by the Athens Banner-Herald portray Ginyard as a disturbed man.

In October 2006, UGA's Counseling and Psychiatric Services reported to campus police that students were afraid of Ginyard because he had a gun and threatened to kill himself and others. Authorities did not act, however, after officers found that Ginyard had a permit for the gun and they reported he was cooperative and "showed no sign of self-destructive behavior."

According to reports, Ginyard arranged to meet late last month with professor Peter Shedd, the business school's academic director, over concerns he might not graduate from his one-year MBA program.

Shedd's assistant noted that when Ginyard arrived, he was agitated and complaining that his apartment had been burglarized over the weekend. Ginyard went into his meeting with Shedd still ranting about the burglary and saying he knew who was responsible and would "be taking matters into his own hands."

Shedd tried to calm Ginyard, telling him to let police deal with the burglary, but Ginyard "continued to make statements that led Shedd to believe he was planning an act of violence," according to police reports.

At the end of the meeting, Ginyard said, "Graduation doesn't matter; I will either be in jail or dead by May 11."

Shedd reported the encounter to UGA police and told officers that several students had previously voiced concerns about Ginyard's page on the social networking Web site Facebook. On his page, Ginyard posted photos of himself shooting an AK-47-style assault rifle at a shooting range. Another photo showed the assault rifle next to a .40-caliber Glock pistol and box of ammunition, with a threatening statement.

A probate court judge signed an order that day to take Ginyard into custody for a mental evaluation and a warrant to search his apartment for weapons.

Officers then went to the apartment, where they say Ginyard confronted them with a handgun. The student dropped the weapon when an officer ordered him to. Officers handcuffed Ginyard, searched him and found an extra, loaded ammunition magazine in his pocket.

While searching the apartment, officers seized more than 100 rounds of ammunition and three magazines for the pistol, a bag of fireworks and a paper shooting target with apparent bullet holes. Police said each bullet hole was "labeled with a different title that appeared to correspond with college courses."

Ginyard is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, where a judge will decide whether to set bond.


Information from: Athens Banner-Herald,

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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