Home Autos & Motors Police: Thwarted Kentucky mass shooter had fully auto AR-15, 7 other guns

Police: Thwarted Kentucky mass shooter had fully auto AR-15, 7 other guns


Police in Springfield, Kentucky, said they prevented a mass shooting Monday by arresting a man who was prepared to attack a manufacturing plant with a fully automatic AR-15 and seven other guns to “get the job done.”

Matthew Smith, 37, of Lebanon, was sitting in his car outside the LB Manufacturing plant in Springfield around 4 p.m., according to an arrest citation. Springfield is about 60 miles southeast of Louisville. Reports of a suspicious vehicle and trespassing came in to local police.

When an officer approached Smith, he tried to aim a Glock handgun at the officer’s chest, according to an arrest citation. The officer wrestled the gun away and handed it to a nearby officer before pulling Smith out of the car and to the ground. 

The officer then found a Springfield XD handgun in Smith’s waistband, another Glock strapped to his ankle as well as a .308-caliber rifle and a Colt AR-15 in the front seat, according to the arrest citation. Smith had “modified (the AR-15) to be fully automatic,” according to police. 

Springfield Chief James Smith later told the Courier Journal that officers found two additional Glocks and a shotgun in the car, too. 

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When police interviewed Smith, he revealed that he had “brought what he needed to get the job done” and was waiting for a woman he had dropped off that morning who was not “answering any of his calls or texts.”

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Smith said the woman was “being trafficked,” according to the arrest citation.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating the incident, and federal charges are pending. 

Smith is charged with wanton endangerment, resisting arrest, attempted murder and criminal trespassing. He is in the Marion County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 26. There is no bond amount posted. 

Smith’s arrest follows a violent 24 hours across America. Three people, including the shooter were killed at Mercy Hospital in south Chicago on Monday evening. In downtown Denver, one person was killed and four were wounded.

This is the second thwarted mass shooting in Kentucky in the past two months. 

Dylan Lee Jarrell, 21, of Anderson County, was arrested in October after police said he had a detailed plan to shoot up a nearby school. It was thwarted by a New Jersey mother who reported racist messages that Jarrell had sent her on Facebook. 

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Thomas Novelly: tnovelly@courierjournal.com, 502-582-4465, or @tomnovelly. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/tomn.

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