- Norwalk, CT Police Department/Facebook; Volusia County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook; Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office
- Law enforcement say they foiled three potential mass shootings in Ohio, Florida, and Connecticut last week, some with similarities to recent atrocities in the US.
- Police in Norwalk, Connecticut, arrested Brandon Wagshol on Wednesday. They say he was buying rifle parts to build his own firearm.
- Tristan Scott Wix was caught in Daytona Beach, Florida. The local sheriff’s office says he tried to recruit his ex-girlfriend to help him “break a world record for longest confirmed kill.”.
- James Patrick Reardon was arrested in Youngstown, Ohio. Local news reports say the self-declared white nationalist threatening to attack a Jewish community center.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
US law enforcement authorities three men in their 20s in Ohio, Florida, and Connecticut on suspicion of planning mass shootings in the space of four days last week.
The arrests come as the country remains on edge after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, two weeks ago.
Details of the cases show apparent similarities with recent actual mass shootings, in the US and elsewhere, which go beyond the demographics of the suspects.
One man is suspected of building his own rifle, another of trying to “break a world record for longest confirmed kill ever,” and the third of threatening on Instagram to attack a Jewish community center.
Here’s who they are, and what police say they had been trying to do.
Brandon Wagshol, 22
Police in Norwalk, Connecticut, on Wednesday arrested Brandon Wagshol, 22, after they say he was caught trying to build his own rifle.
FBI agents received a tip that Wagshol had been trying to buy various rifle parts from outside the state, the Norwalk police department said in a statement.
- Norwalk, CT Police Department/Facebook
Wagshol also made a Facebook post showing his interest in committing a mass shooting, police said, without giving further details about the post or when it was published.
When he was arrested, police say they found a .40 caliber handgun and a .22 caliber rifle, alongside multiple other firearm paraphernalia, including a body armor, ballistic helmet, and camouflage outfit.
He has been charged with four counts of illegal possession of large capacity magazines, and detained on a $250,000 bond.
Tristan Scott Wix, 25
- Volusia County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook
Tristan Scott Wix, a 25-year-old man from Daytona Beach, Florida, was arrested Friday.
According to BuzzFeed News, Wix sent a series of text messages to his ex-girlfriend saying that he wanted to “open fire on a large crowd of people.” BuzzFeed said his ex had been the one to report him.
He said he wanted to “break a world record for longest confirmed kill ever” and tried to convince his ex to be his “spotter” at an upcoming attack, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said.
The phrase “longest confirmed kill” appears to borrow language from video games, a common thread from the El Paso shooting and an earlier attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
While Wix doesn’t own firearms, he is “fascinated with mass shootings,” the sheriff’s office said. He is being held without bond.
- Volusia County Sheriff’s Office/Facebook
Here’s what Wix told his ex, according the sheriff’s office:
“A school is a weak target.. id [sic] 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.”
“I wanna open fire on a large crowd of people from over 3 miles away before I die and I need a spotter (laughing cry face emoji).”
“What you wanna do after the fact, is your own business, if you want to plan to escape we can work on that. But I don’t intend on walking away alive, unless I see it fit.”
“But a good 100 kills would be nice. I already have a location (laughing cry face emoji) is that bad?”
“I’m not crazy I just wanna die and I wanna have fun doing it, but I’m the most patient person in the world.”
James Patrick Reardon, 20
On Saturday, police in Youngstown, Ohio, arrested James Patrick Reardon, who is 20.
Reardon is a self-declared white nationalist and anti-Semite, and posted an Instagram video threatening to attack his local Jewish community center, the local WFMJ TV station reported.
The WFMJ report said Reardon posted a video on his Instagram in July showing him firing multiple rounds, with the caption: “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.”
Seamus O’Rearedon is a Gaelic equivalent of “James Reardon.”
The rest of the Instagram account contained anti-Semitic comments, white nationalist content, and footage of Reardon or others shooting guns, CNN reported, citing New Middletown Police Chief Vincent D’Egidio.
He also attended the Charlottesville white supremacy rally in 2017, and said in an interview recorded on YouTube that he wanted a homeland for white people, WFMJ reported.
- Thomson Reuters
Police found at his mother’s house two AR-15 guns, a rifle with a bayonet, a .40 caliber anti-tank gun, and knives, alongside several magazines and a gas mask, WFMJ reported.
Reardon went by the online pseudonym “I-R-A Seamus.” IRA likely refers to the Irish Republican Army – the paramilitary group responsible for more than 1,000 deaths between the 1960s and 1990s – as police found a jacket with the organization’s patches on it, alongside a Confederate flag.
Reardon has been charged with telephone communication harassment and aggravated menacing, on a $250,000 bond, according to the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office.