One of the suspects police say was planning a mass shooting in Halifax on Valentine's Day posted GIFs glorifying Nazis and the 1999 Columbine shooting all over his Tumblr. But authorities say the planned attack was not terrorism.
Police found the 19-year-old suspect, James Gamble, dead in his suburban Halifax home on Friday. Investigators say they talked to the suspect before he died, but that there was no evidence he was shot by police.
The suspect and his friends were planning to open fire in a Halifax shopping mall and then shoot themselves, police said. In relation to the alleged plot, they charged 20-year-old Randall Steven Shepherd and 23-year-old Lindsay Kantha Souvannarath from Geneva, Illinois with conspiracy to commit murder. Police were able to prevent the planned shooting thanks to an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers.
"The attack does not appear to have been culturally motivated, therefore not linked to terrorism," Justice Minister Peter MacKay told reporters Saturday during a press conference. He characterized the suspects as "murderous misfits."
One week ago, under a photo showing footage of the Columbine shooting, in which two young men killed 12 students and one teacher at the Colorado high school, the 19-year-old suspect typed, "Murder time is fun time."
On February 11, two suspects—Gamble and Souvannarath—posted "Valentine's Day, it's going down," on their blogs, and referred to the Columbine shooters by their first names. The words "Der Untergang" also appear in the post, referring to a movie about the last ten days of Adolf Hitler's life and reign over Germany.
On Friday, Gamble posted a GIF of Bart Simpson pulling down a blind splashed with the words, "February 14th is coming."
Selfies on his blog show Gamble unsheathing hunting knives and loading a long gun. In some photos he wears a scream mask.
His Tumblr appears to be popular in the online subculture of Columbine shooting fans. He posted GIFs of footage from the shooting and wrote about how he related to the gunmen.
Referring to one of the shooters, a commenter on his blog asked, "Do you have combat boots like Dylan?" "Indeed I do," he replied, posting a photo of himself wearing the boots and holding a long gun and hunting knife.
He had thought of suicide "a million times," he wrote, and had "nearly attempted to do so." On Friday, the suspect posted a crime scene photo on his Tumblr purporting to show the Sandy Hook shooter's body and the gun he used to kill himself.
Glorified images of Hitler and SS fighters are posted all over his Tumblr. He also posted GIFs showing the September 11 attacks in New York City, and a graphic video of John F. Kennedy's assassination.
Souvannarath posted a pencil drawing of a Nazi emblem with the words "white power" to her Facebook album "Peace, Love & Tolerance," along with other images on the same theme.
Shepherd and Souvannarath are scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on conspiracy to commit murder charges.
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