Police Thwart Three Potential Mass Shootings Over Two-Day Period
Police thwarted three separate mass shooting plots across the U.S. in just two days, thanks in part to tips from the public.
The three suspects were arrested on Aug. 15 and 16 by law enforcement officers in Ohio, Florida, and Connecticut, USA Today reported.
They are all white males in their twenties, and each of them sent threatening texts or posted online about carrying out mass shootings, police said.
Officers in Norwalk, Connecticut arrested 22-year-old Brandon Wagshol on Aug. 15, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Threat Operations Center received a tip that he was trying to obtain high-capacity rifle magazines from sources outside the state, the Norwalk Police Department said in a Facebook post.
Wagshol expressed his “interest in committing a mass shooting” in a Facebook post, according to investigators.
During a search of his home, officers found multiple rounds of ammunition, two firearms registered to the suspect’s father, tactical equipment, and body armor, USA Today reported.
Wagshol was arrested on four counts of illegal possession of large-capacity magazines, and is being held on $250,000 bond.
“We are thankful for our partnership with the FBI and fantastic teamwork that quickly brought this investigation from a tip to an arrest,” Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said in the department’s post. “I applaud the excellent work of our officers and the FBI agents that assisted and remind people, if they see something, say something.”
On Aug. 16, Volusia County sheriff’s deputies arrested 25-year-old Tristan Scott Wix, after a citizen reported that Wix had sent multiple text messages discussing his plans to commit a mass shooting, USA Today reported.
"A school is a weak target,” the suspect allegedly wrote. “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.”
“But a good 100 kills would be nice,” another text read. “I already have a location [laughing cry face emoji] is that bad?"
He allegedly wrote that he wanted to die and to “have fun doing it,” according to KNXV.
Investigators said that Wix admitted that he is “fascinated with mass shootings,” but that he denied owning any firearms, USA Today reported.
A .22-caliber rifle and 400 rounds of ammunition were ultimately discovered inside his apartment, Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood said on Sunday, according to KNXV.
Wix was being held without bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail on Sunday on a single count of making written threats to kill, The Washington Post reported.
Meanwhile, officers in Ohio arrested 20-year-old James Reardon on Aug. 16, after they received a call from a citizen reporting that Reardon had posted a video claiming responsibility for a shooting at a Jewish community center that hadn’t taken place yet, USA Today reported.
Reardon tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown in the video, police said.
Officers executed a search warrant at the suspect’s home the same day that the video was posted, and seized semi-automatic weapons, ammunition, and anti-Sematic items.
Reardon was booked into the Mahoning County Jail on charges of aggravated menacing and telecommunications harassment, KNXV reported.