‘Going to 9/11 the school:’ Woman accused of threatening St. Margaret Mary School rejects plea offer

Andrea Ford

MILWAUKEE — A woman accused of threatening to “blow up and shoot up” St. Margaret Mary Church & School near 92nd and Capitol Drive rejected a plea deal offered by the state on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Andrea Ford, 33, of Milwaukee, was in court Tuesday for her final pre-trial hearing, during which the state made the offer, and Ford rejected it. The state then withdrew it.  A jury trial was scheduled to begin on Sept. 9.

Ford faces one count of make terrorist threats.

According to the criminal complaint, officers were dispatched to St. Margaret Mary Church & School on April 9. The school’s principal told officers her staff received multiple threatening phone calls from a student’s mother — and that person was identified as Ford. The complaint said Ford is not the legal guardian of her children.

Officers learned the first phone call came in between 9:05 a.m. and 9:10 a.m. The complaint indicated Ford “demanded to speak with her children and then stated she was going to shoot her children’s guardian.” She also allegedly stated “that if she does not get to talk to her children, she is going to ‘blow up the school and shoot up the school.'”

St. Margaret Mary Church & School

St. Margaret Mary Church & School

The complaint indicated a second call came in around 9:15 a.m. Again, the criminal complaint said Ford said “if she does could not speak with her children, she was going to 9/11 the school and come up to the school and beat everyone up.”

Officers learned a third call came in around 9:30 a.m. This time, Ford allegedly stated “if she could not speak with her kids, she was going to come shoot up the school before blowing it up, and that she would also beat up all the staff members.”

The school was put on lockdown, and officers were at St. Margaret Mary Church & School until 6:30 p.m. on that Monday — and walked the property with K-9 officers.

St. Margaret Mary Church & School

The criminal complaint indicated when officers tried to locate Ford, she was not at her residence. She was later located at a residence near 24th and Nash. The complaint said officers found her there “as the phone (Ford) used to make the threats was pinging at that address.” When officers approached Ford, the complaint said she “yelled that if anyone tried to touch her, she was going to kill them.” She also allegedly picked up a steak knife. Officers ordered her to put the knife down — and she did. The complaint indicated Ford then “began yelling that as soon as she gets out, she is going to make 9/11 happen again in Wisconsin and that she was going to ‘kill a bunch of cops and teachers.'”

Parents said the only communication they got that day was through a letter sent home with their children. In a statement, the principal said,”We acted immediately by notifying the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) to safeguard our children. We implemented our emergency response protocol, and relied heavily on MPD for assistance and guidance.”

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