JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Authorities have charged a Jacksonville man with making threats against his supervisors at Chase Financial.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says 37-year-old Rodney Rhyne felt slighted and discriminated against at his job. He had also received poor performance reviews, which he believed was due to him being black.
Police said Rhyne told a co-worker he planned to go to Orlando to pick up his AK-47 and two pistols and would shoot four of his bosses in the head the next day. Detectives said Rhyne told his co-worker he would have 12 rounds in the magazine to place three bullets in his four bosses heads.
The colleague contacted authorities, who responded to Rhyne's home.
The suspect told police he had made the threats but was only "blowing off steam," according to a police report.
Rhyne was arrested Thursday and committed to the Mental Health Center of Jacksonville.
"I've never seen him get like that, not in that manner," said Derrick Rhyne, Rodney's nephew in Tennessee.
He said the statements are completely out of character for his uncle.
"I've never really known him to even come off in any kind of way like that, even speak of that or even have that mentality," Derrick Rhyne said.
Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson says employers need to take these threats very seriously.
"This is very serious simply because there have been so many people who made these type of threats and followed through with them, and you can't sit around and not do anything and say, 'Well, they're just blowing off steam, that's just ridiculous,'" Jefferson said.
Jacksonville saw a similar situation at Episcopal School of Jacksonville last year when a fired teacher returned to school with an AK-47 in a guitar case and shot and killed the headmaster.
And Lesley Cowan was killed by an officer in December after going into Academy Sports with a loaded weapon. Police believe his girlfriend was about to get fired from Ash Properties.
Attorney Richard Margulies handles workplace lawsuits and says employers need to put the proper protocol in place before something like this happens.
"Background checks only go so far, because this guy probably passed his background check but now for whatever reason he snapped," Margulies said.
That's something Derrick Rhyne said he never expected him to do.
"He cares about people, would give the clothes off his back," Rhyne said of his uncle. "I've never known him to go hurt anyone."
Chase did not comment on the arrest.
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