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Two held without bond in alleged mass shooting threat

Robert Ryan (left) and Nicholas Selby. Robert Ryan (left) and Nicholas Selby.

Two men are being held without bond in the Jackson County Detention Center after allegedly threatening a mass shooting in a group text conversation on social media.

Nicholas Selby, 23, and Robert Ryan, 21, both of Austin, Texas, are charged with communicating a threat of mass violence to an educational property. Additionally, Selby is charged with felony possession of a schedule I controlled substance, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance. Ryan faces a charge of possession of a schedule VI controlled substance related to his arrest in Haywood County.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office began its investigation around 10 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, after staff members at SOAR — a school that offers summer camps, academy learning and gap year curricula for both children and young adults — learned about the alleged messages. Selby and Ryan had been recently dismissed from positions there.

Selby was arrested a short time later while still near SOAR on Rosemont Road in Jackson County. Ryan was arrested by Haywood County sheriff’s Office deputies on Thursday, June 23, after being located in the Maggie Valley area. Both suspects were arrested without incident, and no weapons were located during the arrests.

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