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Student who threatened to shoot up NC university is out of jail on bond, officials say

The 19-year-old student arrested at a North Carolina university in August with multiple guns in his possession and plans to kill people is no longer in custody.

Paul Arnold Steber, of Boston, was released from High Point Jail on Thursday after posting a $250,000 bond, Guilford County officials confirmed.

Police arrested Steber Aug. 27 on felony weapons charges and communicating threats of violence, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

He was held without bond after an initial court hearing while a mental health evaluation was completed, according to a police press release. A Guilford County official told McClatchy news group Thursday he has since received that psychiatric evaluation.

Under the conditions of his release, Steber surrendered his passport and will submit to monitoring, WFMY reported. He’s also not allowed online or on High Point University’s campus.

Police said they responded to Steber’s dorm room after university officials reported security staff had been in contact with a student possessing “two firearms as well as ammunition.” Officers say they promptly seized a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and a black powder/percussion double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun.

Steber had a “plan and timeline to kill people,” police said, according to WFMY. WGHP reported he was plotting to “shoot up the school” and considered a “threat to society.”

The 19-year-old was taken to the Guilford County Jail in High Point on two counts of possessing weapons on campus and one count of communicating a threat of mass violence. His combined bail was set at $3 million.

But it didn’t stick.

“As a result of his first appearance in court, Paul A. Steber will be held with no bond for up to 10 days,” police said in an updated press release on Aug. 28. “During that time, he must have a mental health evaluation.”

University officials released a video statement the following day.

“In my 15 years on this campus, we’ve never experienced a situation like this — a young man making a really bad choice,” University President Dr. Nido Qubein said. “Safety and security on our campus are important elements we pay attention to every day.”

Steber has since been expelled, CBS 17 reported.

Court records show his next appearance before a judge is Jan. 10.

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Hayley is a Real Time reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking news and trending stories in the Carolinas. She also created the Observer’s unofficial bird beat (est. 2015) with a summer full of ornithological-related content, including a story about Barred Owls in love.