A young man plotted to commit a mass shooting at a Michigan synagogue and was caught with guns and tactical gear, according to the FBI. Seann Patrick Pietila, 19, was formally charged in documents filed Friday.
The FBI said they got a report of threatening communications exchanged via social media. A user under the name “finnishv64” made threats to commit a mass casualty incident, they said.
“Starting to think plan B is the only option I got left,” he allegedly wrote another user. “[Moai statue emoji] Because fuck this generation for dating to marry.”
He discussed an apparent break up. The other user, “_this_aint_me_88” wrote, “Real though so do I only wish there was easier ways to get guns here bc I really need some at this point man I done with everything as well.”
“Thanks man, means a lot truly! [Smiley face emoji]. Honestly was expecting it,” finnishv64 allegedly wrote of the breakup. “She’s been ignoring me constantly and just been being a dry texter. But yeah I’m just done at this point. Fuck this world and everything in it. I’m gonna start making plans soon, just gotta buy a few more things.”
According to the transcript, both users discussed finnishv64 carrying out a shooting.
“I won’t be taken alive,” the defendant allegedly wrote. “I’ll make sure of that. Remember ‘Heil Hitler!'”
The other user, _this_aint_me_88, allegedly wrote that “if we didn’t have all these shitskins and kikes we’d be fine.”
Finnishv64 voiced plans to livestream the attack, documents stated.
In another conversation, user varix2006, complained about going to school with Jewish people, according to documents.
“I’m not in school so I can’t relate,” finnishv64 allegedly answered. “Michigan ain’t got that many kikes thankfully. Just lots of Finns and Germans.”
“As demonstrated above, finnishv64 has communicated Neo-Nazi style ideology, antisemitism, suicidal ideologies, glorification of past mass shooters (that advocate similar ideology), and a desire and his intent to mimic past mass shooters/mass casualty incidents,” authorities wrote.
FBI said they tracked down Pietila through his Instagram account. They pulled a picture from his mother’s Facebook account and showed it to Pickford High School officials, who confirmed it was him.
Authorities also said that an Instagram user sent finnishv64 another picture with the message, “show your face[,] pussy.”
The picture depicts a man wearing a head covering and a skull face covering, with just his eyes exposed. There is a cat on his right shoulder.
“Show my face for the feds?” responded finnishv64. “No thanks.”
That feline appeared to match the cat in the photo posted to the Facebook account of Pietila’s mother, authorities said.
The FBI said they executed a search warrant on Friday.
Post-Miranda, Pietila, admitted being the Instragram user finnishv64, authorities said.
36. SEANN PATRICK PIETILA advised he was the Instagram user finnishv64. SEANN PATRICK PIETILA also used numerous other social media usernames under the moniker finnishv. SEANN PATRICK PIETILA advised he would change the numbers at the end of the username on different accounts. SEANN PATRICK PIETILA participated in the Instagram conversations with Instagram user this_aint_me_88. SEANN PATRICK PIETILA knew this_aint_me_88, to be a 16 year-old male, and advised this_aint_me_88 was located in New Zealand. SEAN PATRICK PIETILA knew this_aint_me_88’s true name.
37. SEANN PATRICK PIETILA exchanged messages with this_aint_me_88 and advised he acted in an enabling manner during the conversations to facilitate additional conversations about committing mass casualty incidents or mass killings. SEANN PATRICK PIETILA conversed with this_aint_me_88 on other social media platforms. SEANN PATRICK PIETILA and this_aint_me_88 had been communicating since at least November of 2022. SEANN PATRICK PIETILA told investigators that he did not intend on following through with the mass killings that he spoke about.
Authorities said that a note on Pietila’s iPhone named a synagogue in East Lansing, Michigan.
“Me and Limey. Equipment: hand-made pipe bombs, molotovs, Two Stag15-‘s 12 gauge shotgun and two back up Glock 18’s AND a Akm full auto conversion,” the note stated. “Good morning sweetheart, I hope you slept well. Do you still hate me?”
Pietila allegedly identified “Limey” as the Instagram user _this_aint_me_88. He said this was a 16-year-old boy from New Zealand.
Authorities said Pietila planned to carry out the shooting on the anniversary of Islamophobic mass shootings in New Zealand.
He allegedly told investigators he planned on using his 12-gague shotgun to kill himself and had written a suicide note which was on his iPhone.
Pietila’s mother, Brittany Stob, told ABC News that she believed her son is not violent and not actually planning an attack. She reportedly said her son began consuming antisemitic content online during his isolation under the COVID-19 pandemic. He did not have access to mental health treatment that he needed, she said.
“He said some stuff online that he shouldn’t have,” Stob said. “He’s a good kid. He would never hurt anybody.”
Authorities said, however, they uncovered various firearms and tactical gear when executing the search warrant at the Pickford residence where Pietila lived after he moved out his mother’s East Lansing home:
… .40 caliber pistol ammunition, .22 caliber ammunition, 12 gauge shotgun ammunition, a 12-gauge shotgun, a .22 caliber rifle, a Sig Sauer .40 caliber pistol (serial # 24B049058), .223 rifle magazines, an Apple iPhone 11, various knives and bladed instruments, scopes and firearms accessories, a camouflage tactical vest, a black tactical vest, black skull masks, a red and white Nazi flag, a ghillie suit, gas masks, and military sniper/survival manuals. The firearms located in the residence were not secured in a safe or locked storage box and were freely accessible to anyone in the residence.
His mother asserted to ABC News that the guns and tactical gear that the FBI seized belonged to her and her husband.
According to the federal complaint, Brittany Stob had two handguns registered to her name: a “Sig Sauer, .40 Caliber, Model Number SP2022,” and a “Springfield, 9mm, Model XD.” Her son “had no known firearms registered in his name,” documents said.
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