Alleged Thwarted Mass Shooter Left Trail Of Racist And Anti-Transgender Posts

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August 16, 2019 2:24 pm
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A Connecticut man who had amassed an arsenal of tactical weapons and body armor, and who police say may have been preparing for a mass shooting, left a trail of virulently racist and anti-trans postings online.

TPM found that social media accounts registered to Norwalk, Connecticut resident Brandon Wagshol both reflected elements of the police accusations against him and contained rants against minorities.

Wagshol was arrested, officials said, after a joint FBI-local police investigation on a tip that the 22-year old was trying to import “large capacity rifle magazines from out of state.” During the investigation, Wagshol wrote a Facebook post “that showed his interest in committing a mass shooting,” leading to a raid on his house and his arrest, the FBI and local police said in a joint statement.

Police say that they uncovered a weapons cache during the raid, including titanium body armor and a combat helmet.

An Instagram account linked to Wagshol’s Facebook account shows someone who appears to be Wagshol wearing body armor and, in a separate picture, a combat helmet.

View this post on Instagram

Went to a gun show. Bought a helmet. Good times.

A post shared by Brandon Wagshol (@brandon_wagshol2) on

Wagshol also appears to have posted about the President on the same Instagram account, showing a bizarre meme of Trump apparently defeating Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a sumo wrestling match.

Most of Wagshol’s Facebook presence is private, but some of what he posted is publicly available.

In January 2018, for example, after Trump complained that immigrants were coming into the U.S. from “shithole countries,” Wagshol posted memes riffing on the term.

In one post, a meme appears to show the popular 23andme genetic testing kit offering consumers the opportunity to discover “which shithole country are you from?”

Posted by Brandon Wagshol on Saturday, January 13, 2018

Wagshol’s Twitter presence is far darker, and may offer hints at what drove him to allegedly amass a cache of weapons.

He appears to have maintained at least two Twitter accounts. One, under the handle @wagshol_brandon, and another, under @naughtwagshol. Both list Norwalk, Connecticut as their location, and both are linked to other social media profiles apparently belonging to Wagshol.

The 22-year old frequently used racial slurs in the posts, and appears to have been fixated both on transgender people and on the FBI.

The accounts also liked a string of extremely racist posts, one of which appears to have been a reference to the KKK demolishing someone’s house.

The accounts frequently made statements about the FBI, which at times appeared to approach the level of threats.

In one tweet, one of the accounts appears to reference the pizzagate conspiracy theory, which posited that the DNC was involved with a supposed pedophilia ring being run out of a Northwest D.C. pizza shop.

At other points, he appears obsessed with the idea that the FBI is about to indict him for some unspecified crime.

In a statement, FBI special agent Brian Turner attributed Wagshol’s arrest to a “tip from a vigilant citizen,” saying that it helped them “disrupt a potentially dangerous situation.”

Wagshol has been charged with four counts of illegal possession of high-capacity firearm magazines. He is being held on $250,000 bond.

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