KINGSPORT — A former Kingsport Axmen player arrested on Monday said in a message to a team member, “I’ll kill everyone single one of y’all,” according to a document from Sullivan County General Sessions Court.
Matthew T. Taylor, 21, Kingsport, was arrested after making threats to a teammate via social media following his release from the team, officials said. He was charged with three counts of false reporting and one count of harassment.
On Monday, Taylor sent messages via Snapchat to a current Axmen player, the document said. It also said Taylor made a reference to “Columbine 2.0,” and in one message said, “They took my life I’ll take theirs.” According to officials, after Taylor was notified that the police were on the scene, he responded, “Good, Tell em to send more.” The investigation is ongoing.
The Kingsport Axmen postponed games on Monday and Tuesday.
Team officials said a player had been “removed from the team for conduct of concern and violations of team rules.”
The team had no regularly scheduled game on Wednesday night. Now, general manager Steve Brice said, the team plans to begin its series against the Bristol State Liners starting on Thursday.
“As of right now, we’re ready to play in Bristol,” Brice said. “Obviously things can change ... but I don’t have any reason to believe that would change.”
Kingsport Police Department patrol officers were called to Hunter Wright Stadium on Monday to stand by while Taylor was dismissed from the team and banned from the premises, a Tuesday press release from the KPD stated. According to officials, police then returned approximately an hour and a half later following alleged threats from Taylor. Taylor was processed and held in the Kingsport City Jail on Monday, according to the release, and has since been released after posting a $25,000 bond.
Taylor pitched for the Appalachian League team after playing this year for Kansas University. He graduated from Dobyns-Bennett High School in 2018.