Man who threatened mass shooting in Tuscaloosa could be released

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - A man accused of threatening a mass shooting in Tuscaloosa nearly10 years ago could be released soon.

The Alabama Department of Mental Health petitioned the court to release Walter Rogers to a less restrictive environment in a hearing Friday.

The Tuscaloosa County district attorney's office strongly disagrees with them based on Rogers violent history.

"His acts of violence are extremely alarming he threatened the city of Tuscaloosa with a mass shooting," said chief assistant district attorney Jonathan Cross.

Rogers says prosecutors said he made that a threat in 2009 comparing his plans to then shooting of 10 people in Geneva, Ala.

The hospital review board interviewed Rogers, deciding he was stable after he was compliant with treatment and never tried to escape.

"He's had mental treatment in the past several times and even after having mental health treatment he's always re-offended," said Cross.

In the hearing it was stated he threatened to kill the President of Stillman College in 2001, the same year he had an altercation with a professor there. In 2007, he allegedly told a VA hospital receptionist, "I guess there will be a lot of dead bodies."

Prosecutors said Rogers also threatened a U.S. Congressman and threatened to take teachers and students hostage at Bryant High School in 2008.

"Greatly concerns my office as it does the rest of Tuscaloosa if you want to look at a person's behavior. If you want to see what a person's going to do tomorrow look and see what they did yesterday. He's too dangerous to be let out," said Cross.

According to a doctor at Bryce hospital, Rogers is taking a drug to treat his bipolar and mixed personality disorder.

The public hearing continues Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Tuscaloosa county courthouse.

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