Potential Mass Shootings Averted, Authorities Say

Authorities this weekend announced they had foiled three potential mass shootingsafter arresting three men in different states who expressed interest in or threatened to carry them out.

[…]

In Connecticut, 22-year-old Brandon Wagshol was arrested after authorities said he had expressed interest in committing a mass shooting on Facebook, according to a statement from the FBI and the Norwalk Police Department.

He faces four charges of illegal possession of large capacity magazines, and is being held on a $250,000 bond.

[…]

Tristan Scott Wix of Daytona Beach, Florida, was arrested in a Winn-Dixie parking lot on Friday after he sent his ex-girlfriend a series of disturbing texts in which he allegedly threatened to commit a mass shooting, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said. The ex-girlfriend alerted authorities.

In the messages, the 25-year-old said he wanted to open fire on a large crowd of people, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. “A good 100 kills would be nice,” one message allegedly read. Wix also said he already had a location in mind, according to the sheriff’s office.

“A school is a weak target… id be more likely to open fire on a large crowd of people from over 3 miles away… I’d wanna break a world record for longest confirmed kill ever,” another message read, according to the sheriff’s office.

Wix wrote that he wanted to die and “have fun doing it,” authorities said.

Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood said on CNN Sunday that authorities had recovered a .22-caliber hunting rifle and 400 rounds of ammo in Wix’s apartment. Wix had initially told investigators he did not own any firearms but that he was fascinated with mass shootings, the sheriff’s office said.

Wix was being held without bond Sunday at the Volusia County Branch Jail. CNN could not immediately determine Sunday whether Wix had an attorney.

And in Ohio, 20-year-old James Patrick Reardon was arrested for allegedly threatening to carry out a shooting at a Youngstown Jewish community center.

An Instagram account belonging to Reardon shared a video that showed a man firing a gun, New Middletown Police Chief Vincent D’Egidio told CNN. The post – which was shown to an officer out on an unrelated call – tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown, D’Egidio said.

[…]
The rest of the Instagram account contained anti-Semitic comments, white nationalist content, and images of Reardon or someone else shooting guns, D’Egidio said.

[…]

Reardon was arrested without incident and booked into the Mahoning County Jail on Saturday on one count of telecommunications harassment and one count of aggravated menacing, according to online jail records.

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And just to avoid confusion, these cases are different than another incident involving an individual with the online name “ArmyOfChrist.” (Justin Olsen)

What do you know, not one of them stopped by a background check!

In all seriousness this is what people should be focusing on rather than on gun control. I know finding those about to do this sort of thing isn’t as provoking news wise than gun control but for once doing something good for this country should not include “will this make news?”

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So the FBI and state and local police are going to have to police social media for every crank that makes a threat?

Some of these guys had hoarder a lot of ammo. Someone somewhere must have known something.

Go where the evidence is. State troopers have to police highways.

I’m wondering if they even have the resources to do that, though they can obviously be helped if anyone finding the threats alerts authorities, which seems to have helped in these cases.

Yeah you’re right, it’s too much work to solve the problem. Lets go back to doing nothing and screaming about gun control because that has worked well so far :roll_eyes:

All the gun control in the world will not stop mass shootings, it won’t even effect them. Finding those who talk about doing it and stopping them before hand is what will work.

According to a poster, investigating young men who make dubious violent statements on websites and end up having stockpiles of weapons violates their constitutional rights.

Yes it’ll be really interesting to see who steps up to pay for their defense citing ‘rights’.

And is this poster a constitutional rights expert? Is he/she more knowledgeable about the constitution than every other person posting here? If not, it’s just an opinion.

But they were stopped by their community

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It’s interesting that all of these folks are mostly being caught on social media or other parts of the internet, at least, the ones I’ve seen. I"m glad they are shooting their mouth off of they might not get caught. I know the one person in Ohio was making threats, so, phone? Internet? I"m glad he was caught as the other two as well. And it looks like ages 20-25; so very young again.

This is a slippery slope. It’s good they stopped these guys, but can they prove intent to whatever legal standard? Cause we all know at least 1 person who trolls (though not on this topic yet) in a way believable to the unsuspecting.

I think these people are being reported by people who know them, not random internet readers. That’s the way a community should respond to threatening and erratic behavior.

If the goal is prevention, it doesn’t really matter if charges are ever filed but the course is changed.

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An attorney I know often repeats a saying.

“If you don’t talk, you might walk.”

She says it is common that a case is solved or a criminal is convicted because of his own testimony. A lot of the times the police don’t have sufficient evidence for conviction when they are interviewing a person (if they did have sufficient evidence then the need to interview someone goes down dramatically). And many times the person will make the statements to give them sufficient evidence.

Some police departments have divisions that concentrate on social media cases. People make lots of admissions there

I cannot speak to the poster’s knowledge. He did essentially blame me for the mass shootings, I suppose because I’m an atheist, and thus part of the societal rot. I’ll keep my personal feelings on that particular accusation to myself.

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On that much we can agree. People who collect large arsenals cannot likely do so without someone’s knowledge, and I would hope that family, friends, and whatever other associates they have would call the authorities. But it would strain police forces and Federal authorities to the breaking point to police every loudmouth on the Internet. For every legitimate report, I’m sure there are many that are just Internet trolls and cranks. Heck, the only death threat I ever received in my life was on Usenet in the mid-1990s from someone who took a dislike to my admittedly more strident views on religion at the time. I wasn’t going to pick up the phone and call the police to let them know some random crank somewhere in the Continental United States swore he’d find out where I live and do me some harm.

I have already apologized numerous times for that. Must you keep bringing it up?

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No, it’s not about the size of your arsenal, or whether you get mean to people you don’t know on the internet.

It’s about what your friends and family hear you say. These mass shooters had people close to them who knew something wasn’t right. We prevent suicides the same way.

These mass killers usually only use 1-2 guns in their assault.

Why? I know people who have a large number of guns (or arsenals for left wingers), my son being one of them. There are 7-8 firearms in my house. Is that an arsenal? My son’s grandfather had over 100 guns, many displayed on the walls of their basement. I grew up with a loaded shotgun in the closet next to my bedroom.

Possessing firearms is NOT an indicator of gun violence. I personally do not own a weapon but I do have access to the several in my home. If someone were to break into our home with the intent to harm us I wouldn’t hesitate a second to use it. Although my choice would be the shotgun and generally the sound of a pump action shot gun should make anyone pause. :smiley:

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