BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Friends of Connor Stottlemyre are reacting to the arrest of 19-year-old, after prosecutors say he made threats online against Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.
Stottlemyre graduated from Blue Springs High School in May. Many negative comments have been directed at him since his threats surfaced on the social media app Yik Yak. Prosecutors say he posted "I'm gonna shoot any black ppl tomorrow so be ready" and "I love evil, I can't wait for Northwest to make the news tomorrow."
PJ Risalvato never expected an old childhood friend would be the focus of Thursday's headlines. The two played little league baseball and basketball together as kids.
"My little brother came downstairs and said, 'PJ! Look what's on Twitter right now! Look what's blowing up all over the Internet.' I started looking online, I was like, 'Woah, what?' Honestly, I was really shocked," Risalvato said.
Shocked that Stottlemyre is now facing felony and misdemeanor charges for those terrorist threats.
"He's always been a nice kid with a nice family and he wouldn't be the person you think would do something like that," Risalvato continued.
Risalvato took to social media Thursday as well, to defend Sottlemyre. He posted on Facebook.
"I'm glad he did. PJ usually stands up for what's right. He's a good boy too. They're good kids," Risalvato's father Phillip said.
Phillip Risalvato said Stottlemyre probably just got caught up in the recent race concerns at the University of Missouri.
"I'm sure everything that's going on right now in the media with what's going on at MU has to do with that. Young people trying to learn their way, find their way," he said.
FOX 4 asked PJ if he thought Stottlemyre was capable of following through with the threats.
"Absolutely not. If anything, I think it was a dare or a joke," he said.
Whether or not harm was intended is up to the courts. For now, those who know the teen hope all the recent tensions will start to die down.
"It's nonsense. This is 2015. This stuff shouldn't be happening," Risalvato said.
Stottlemyre is due in court Tuesday, November 17.