Suspect accused of causing up to $300K in damage to Buda school

James Kerr

BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — Using surveillance video, Hays County sheriff’s deputies were able to identify the suspect accused of causing between $150,000 and $300,000 in damage to Carpenter Hill Elementary School near Buda.

James Michael Kerr, 25, of Austin, has been charged with criminal mischief, arson and burglary of a building after allegedly breaking into the school at 4410 Ranch Road 967 in the early morning hours of Friday, July 10.

Computers, urinals, windows and trophy cases were damaged inside the Hays CISD school, and a fire extinguisher was set off in the library.

Surveillance images showed the suspect walking with a sledgehammer in his hand. 

The sheriff’s office has not determined a motive or what Kerr’s connection to the school may be.

Kerr was booked into the Hays County Jail Monday, where he remains. Bond has yet to be set.

Classes at Carpenter Hill resume on Aug. 27 and teachers return on Aug. 20. A Hays CISD spokesperson said the district did not anticipate the damage causing any delays.

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