BENNINGTON, Vt., (UPI) — A respected Vermont teacher was hospitalized after he posted disturbing YouTube videos and turned a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle over to police.
Paul Doucette, the police chief of Bennington, said Steven Davis, a well-liked science and math teacher at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington was hospitalized at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center following a mental health evaluation, the Bennington Banner reported.
Last Sunday, neighbors asked police to check on the teacher after they observed him taking the AR-15 military-style rifle into his vehicle.
Davis voluntarily surrendered the weapon to police. He told police he was taking the rifle to a storage facility.
Doucette said the weapon — the same type of rifle used in the Newtown, Conn., shootings — was in a case and a trigger lock was installed, but after searching the teacher’s home police found two loaded, 30-round magazines.
Police said Davis said he purchased the rifle in April 2009, along with two high-capacity magazines and 500 rounds of ammunition.
Last Monday, Davis began posting videos on YouTube, with his Christmas tree in the background, criticizing school administrators, the teachers union and co-workers as well as other topics.
Davis also sent a schoolwide email, saying he would “remove the union and all of the teachers who are negatively affecting the children,” as well as sending other emails and posting things on Facebook, which prompted many calls to police, Doucette said.
“He indicated to me that he was very unhappy with some staff at the supervisory union here and he was unhappy with the education that some of the children and students are receiving. He indicated that there were some teachers that needed to be gone from the school,” Doucette said. “He never came out and threatened the teachers in any way, he just said it was time for change. But, when he started going on about reading CIA manuals and he talked about looking into military training and things like that, I became alarmed,” Doucette told the Banner.
After police took custody of the weapon, Davis’ wife left their home and took their two children to stay with family and got a restraining order. She said she did not know her husband had purchased the weapon, the restraining order said.
In a YouTube video, Davis appeared in a hospital bed and appeared to be asking about obtaining a lawyer.