The Vermont teenager police say was stopped before carrying out plans to shoot up his former high school has been released from jail.
Jack Sawyer had been behind bars since February, when police say a tipster told them the 18-year-old had bought a gun and was planning a massacre inside Fair Haven Union High School.
Several attempted murder charges against Sawyer were dropped, after the Vermont Supreme Court said simply planning a crime wasn’t the same thing as attempting one.
With only misdemeanor charges against Sawyer remaining, Judge Thomas Zonay granted Sawyer’s release from jail on $10,000 bail and conditions.
Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, pointed to the Sawyer case as a prime reason for his recent authorization of stricter gun controls in the state—which included raising the age for most firearm purchases to 21.
Scott reacted to Sawyer’s release Friday.
"I’m very concerned—frustrated by the entire process, to be honest," the governor told reporters. "I share the concerns of the community. I share the concerns of the high school as well. We’re doing everything we can. I’ve directed our public safety commissioner and the Vermont State Police to add any resources they might need to feel safe."
Under his conditions of release, Sawyer must stay in his father’s custody 24/7, and cannot enter the town of Fair Haven.
Sawyer is also expected to undergo a mental health evaluation in the next few days, and the court ordered him to obey all future guidance of treatment professionals.
Additionally, an extreme risk protection order mandated that Sawyer’s father remove all firearms from his home, and barred Sawyer from handling guns.