VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) — The student is accused of making the threats that forced the evacuation of a school on Wednesday. WKBN 27 First News Reporter Nadine Grimley spoke with investigators who say the people who spoke up prevented a possible tragedy.
Christian Blymiller is in the Trumbull County Jail facing charges of inducing panic and making a terroristic threat that stemmed from the emergency evacuation of the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics and locked down the nearby Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport Wednesday.
“If he truly wasn’t a threat to anybody we may have not done anything but when you put the pieces of the puzzle together yesterday we couldn’t ignore it,” said Vienna Police Chief Bob Ludt.
Ludt said it all started with students at PIA speaking up. He said they had conversations with Blymiller who suggested he might want to hurt himself or others.
“It rose to the level where these students were concerned enough to tell their instructors,” said Ludt.
Ludt said Blymiller left the school early and went to Sandel’s Loan Pawn Shop in downtown Youngstown to buy a rifle and ammunition. Brett Fine was working.
“He was just very conversational and you know didn’t let on to us that there was any kind of an issue,” said Fine.
Fine said Blymiller passed the Federal Firearms License check and during their conversation, he learned Blymiller was a student at PIA.
Fine knows someone who works at the school so he sent that person a text. That’s when he was put in contact with the school’s director and learned there’d been an issue.
He said he felt a little bit of panic.
“It’s just fortunate that it was here and I do know somebody that works there and the people that work there so it was just good that I was able to inform them,” said Fine.
Fine said after what happened in Texas earlier this week, store management had already started talking about creating a store policy to move the minimum age to purchase AR-15s, AK-47s and semiautomatic shotguns to 21. What happened Wednesday solidified that decision.
Ludt said this is a prime example of people doing the right thing and speaking up when they felt something wasn’t right.
“By everybody cooperating and talking we were able to resolve this without anybody getting hurt and nothing bad happening,” said Ludt.
Carrie Butler said in a statement from PIA:
The safety of our students and our community is our highest priority, and we are grateful that any potential for crisis was averted by the swift response of our students and staff, together with the local law enforcement. We will continue to work collaboratively with law enforcement officials as they manage an ongoing investigation and will keep our campus community informed of any new developments as they occur.
Blymiller is being held without bond pending a mental health evaluation. He’s due back in Girard Municipal Court next week.