Charge filed against Walmart employee accused of making threat

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JEFFERSON CITY - Prosecutors charged a St. Martins man with making a terroristic threat after police said he talked about "getting a gun and shooting people."

Nicholas Pratte, 38, is currently in Cole County jail on no bond.

According to court documents, Pratte works at the Stadium Boulevard Walmart.  He met with two supervisors on Thursday about a reported drop in productivity. After the meeting, one supervisor said another employee said Pratte was agitated about the meeting and commented about shooting people.

The same employee told police Pratte said he felt targeted because of his productivity, and said Pratte had also commented about "shooting a school if his daughter got pregnant." The witness told police they felt Pratte was capable of following through on his statements, saying Pratte often bragged about his gun collection and showed photos of "military styled rifles" in the past.

The probable cause statement said the witness commented to Pratte about being treated "like the next Walmart shooter," and Pratte replied "yeah, do I look like the next Walmart shooter?"

Mary Wood, a St. Martins resident, said when she heard the news, she never realized Pratte lived across the street.

"You really don't know who your neighbors are," she said.

Wood said she has been living in the same neighborhood for more than 20 years, and people "come and go" all the time.

Another neighbor Judy Cliburn said she feels less safe now that she knows Pratte lives so close.

"I'm planning to move with my son anyway," she said.

Police said in the documents that Pratte had recently been contacted by officers in regards to making comments "synonymous with shooting a school." Those comments prompted two schools in Jefferson City, Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Capital City High School, to go on lockdown on August 30.

KOMU contacted the Jefferson City Police, but officials were not able to give a comment on Monday.