PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. – Detectives arrested a 31-year-old Palatka man accused of threatening a mass shooting on social media, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.
Investigators said they were alerted by members of the community about the social media posts, which included comments of a “mass shooting” and that he was “planning this ... for years.”
“All I know I better get my grand dads shotgun when my dad dies because i will either open fire at the funeral and conduct a mass shooting or abduct my step brother’s daughter rape and dismember her,” reads one post released by the Sheriff’s Office.
Col. Joseph Wells, chief deputy with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, said there is no stepbrother’s daughter — that person doesn’t exist.
The Sheriff’s Office said other social messages showed the man trying to purchase a gun, however, investigators said he has an injunction and cannot legally have one.
“Anybody got any firearms they want to part with, message me. I’ll still buy them even if they’re hot,” reads another social media post released by the Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives said they found the man, whom they identified as Andrew Pierce Phillips, at his job in Palatka and arrested him on one count of sending a written threat to conduct a mass shooting, a second-degree felony. They said no guns were found during a search of his home on Palm Avenue. But Wells told News4JAX that a BB gun was located, along with neo-Nazi paraphernalia.
The man was booked Monday night into the Putnam County Jail, where he was ordered to remain without bond after appearing before a judge, according to court records.
“This is a perfect example of ‘see something, say something,’” said Putnam County Sheriff H.D. “Gator” DeLoach.
Wells talked about why it’s important to make an arrest when threats are made on social media.
“It’s always important to make the arrest to ensure public safety immediately after we come aware of the arrest, and also just to make sure in light of everything that’s going on around the country that we don’t miss anything,” Wells said.
Wells said they are going to do a mental health evaluation on the man and he could receive mental health treatment in jail if needed.