An Arizona man was arrested after allegedly praising the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas and threatening to inflict similar carnage of his own.
Joshua Adam Bowen, 19, stands accused of making terrorist threats. He was arrested on June 5, 2022, following an investigation into those alleged threats, according to the Casa Grande Police Department (CGPD).
“There is no doubt in my mind this individual was intent on hurting people and, ultimately, would have found a way to do it,” Casa Grande Police Chief Mark McCrory said in a press release. “Fortunately, we have great support at the local, state, and national level to identify these threats and in this instance these relationships functioned exactly as they should, and we were able to work together to stop a serious threat to our community.”
According to Tucson, Ariz. CBS affiliate KOLD, the FBI first made the CGPD aware of threats that Bowen allegedly made online. After that report, the defendant was then “immediately” placed under surveillance and arrested by the CGPD.
“It is important to note this investigation started because Law Enforcement received a tip from a citizen,” McCrory’s statement continued. “We are not immune to the issues we see across our country, but our department will be diligent in investigating all threats and will continue to encourage citizens to report this type of behavior to law enforcement.”
Bowen allegedly threatened his own family and friends with violence. He also allegedly threatened to commit a mass shooting at a local high school, police station, and movie theater, and “praised the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas,” police said in the press release.
According to Phoenix, Ariz. ABC affiliate KNXV, Bowen’s online comments were notable for being both racist and misogynistic. In line with the defendant’s alleged racism, he also praised the recent mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y. that took the lives of 10 Black people at a grocery store.
Those alleged comments were made by two separate usernames via the mobile version of the popular first-person shooter Call of Duty, according to Phoenix, Ariz. Fox affiliate KSAZ.
The comments were reported to the FBI National Threat Operation Center on June 1, 2022, by another Call of Duty player from Texas.
“The first username [redacted] messaged. ‘Tune in June 10th for the Casa Grande school shooting,'” the FBI wrote in one of their reports. The second username wrote: “I’m going to kill at least 20.”
The FBI reported the following additional comments were made by the two usernames attributed to Bowen:
“Tune in June 10th for a Casa Grande school shooting…”
“I’m going to shoot up my local Harkins theater…”
“The Buffalo shooting was justified”
“The Texas shooting was justified in self defense”
“Ramos Salvador was a good man,”
Bowen also allegedly threatened to kill one of his relatives, an ex-girlfriend, and small children. He asked other users if he should kill his mother, authorities claim.
He was taken into custody without incident.
Police note there were no weapons at Bowen’s home but said that CGPD detectives “were able to identify information that leads them to believe he may have access to firearms.”
The defendant, for his part, has professed his innocence.
“During an interview with [Bowen], he immediately invoked his right to an attorney. [Bowen] repeated [sic] stated he was innocent,” and “denied making any threats,” court documents obtained by KSAZ read.
The defendant’s mother is still standing by her son.
“I was shocked and in disbelief,” Bowen’s mother, Charlotte Manley told Phoenix, Ariz. CBS affiliate KTVK. “He’s not a violent person, he’s very quiet and calm. He’s very sensitive.”
“It’s possible he made the comments not realizing how it will affect the rest of his life,” she added.
Bowen is currently being detained in the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on $150,000 bond.
[Image via Casa Grande Police Department]
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