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Teacher texted friend about empowering women to become serial killers, Las Vegas police say

Leslie McGourty
Leslie McGourty Las Vegas Metro Police

Students looked on as Las Vegas police flooded into their physics classroom on May 16. The officers were there to arrest their teacher, 48-year-old Leslie McGourty.

"I was shocked,” high school junior Bernice Olguin told Fox 5 Vegas. “There were a bunch of police officers coming in to her class room to get her stuff and walk out.”

Police say the Bonanza High School teacher sent a series of disturbing text messages threatening, among other things, to "poke a lot of holes in a lot of people" at an upcoming concert that weekend, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The texts were between McGourty and a friend named James, and referenced the 2017 Mandalay Bay mass shooting in Las Vegas in which Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds.

"...Likely be dead by Sunday morning. Even forming a plan ... people will remember me," McGourty allegedly wrote, according to a police report obtained by KTNV.

The friend responded by asking the name of "the guy who shot up the Strip," referencing Paddock.

"Doesn't matter. I am a woman ... I will be remembered," McGourty allegedly responded.

In the texts, McGourty allegedly wrote that she might "start a new movement. Another me-too movement. But this time in which women feel empowered enough to become serial killers."

She wrote about going to a concert for the metal band Life of Agony at the Beauty Bar in downtown Las Vegas, KTNV reported, and said Vegas would "lose its luster after me," according to the station.

"Imagine knowing exactly the moment that you're going to die. I know exactly that your favorite song will be playing. By your favorite band. It's just too perfect.," McGourty wrote, according to the station.

When the friend asked "to what end, other than to hurt people?" McGourty allegedly responded by saying "everyone" would know they were "right" and that she was "the crazy girl" and people could "feel validated."

The friend reported the messages to police, and officers believed the texts were evidence enough to charge her with making terroristic threats, a felony, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Police tried to arrest her at her home, but she had already gone to work.

"It was at that point we made the request for (Clark County School District police) to immediately take Leslie into custody and to be removed from the classroom,” investigators said in a report obtained by the paper.

McGourty bailed out of jail the next morning and told KTNV the messages were taken out of context, but gave no more information.

Life of Agony canceled their show after hearing the news.

"Safety for our fans is always our number one priority, so once we were notified by law enforcement about a possible threat to the venue, we felt it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel the show as a precaution, since the investigation was still active," the band wrote on Facebook.

Most students spoken to by local media were shocked by the allegations.

"Ms. McGourty was a pretty nice teacher," one student told KTNV.

"I would not expect that at all, to be honest," Xavier Miller, a student at Bonanza High School, told 8 News Now.

Another student agreed.

"She was always pretty happy and energetic, but I would never expect something like this," he told the station.

McGourty's mother spoke to KTNV and said her daughter came from "law-abiding citizens" who "don't even own guns."

The teacher was "assigned to home" by the school district after her release and has a court date later in June, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Police released bodycam video on Wednesday that shows the moment officers breached the Las Vegas shooter's hotel room at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on October 1, 2017.

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