An Arizona man has been arrested after allegedly praising the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas and threatening to inflict similar carnage on his own.
Joshua Adam Bowen, 19, is accused of making terroristic threats. He was arrested on June 5, 2022, after an investigation into those alleged threats, according to the Casa Grande Police Department (CGPD).
“I have no doubt that this individual intended to hurt people and ultimately would have found a way to do so,” the Casa Grande police chief said. Mark McCrory said in Press release. “Fortunately, we have tremendous support at the local, state and national levels to identify these threats, and in this case, these relationships worked exactly as they should, and we were able to work together to stop a serious threat to our community.”
According to Tucson, Arizona. CBS affiliate KOLD, the FBI first informed the CGPD of the threats Bowen allegedly made online. After that report, the accused was “immediately” placed under surveillance and detained by the CGPD.
“It is important to note that this investigation began because police received a tip from a citizen,” McCrory’s statement continued. “We are not immune to the problems we see across the 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 news release.
According to Phoenix, Arizona. ABC affiliate KNXV, Bowen’s online comments were noted for being both racist and misogynistic. In keeping with the accused’s alleged racism, he also praised the recent mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, that claimed 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. Obligationsaccording to Phoenix, Arizona. Fox affiliate KSAZ.
The comments were reported to the FBI National Threat Operations Center on June 1, 2022 by another Call of Duty player from Texas.
“The first username [redacted] sent a message ‘Tune in June 10 for the Casa Grande school shooting,'” the FBI wrote in one of its reports. The second username wrote, “I’m going to kill at least 20.”
The FBI reported that the two usernames attributed to Bowen made the following additional comments:
“Tune in June 10 for a Casa Grande school shooting…”
“I’m going to shoot at my local Harkins theater…”
“The Buffalo shooting was justified”
“The shooting in Texas 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 young children. He asked other users if he should kill his mother, authorities say.
He was taken into custody without incident.
Police noted there were no weapons at Bowen’s home, but said CGPD detectives “were able to identify information that led 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 a lawyer. [Bowen] repeated [sic] declared that he was innocent” and “denied making any threats,” read court documents obtained by KSAZ.
The defendant’s mother is still standing next to her son.
“I was shocked and in disbelief,” said Bowen’s mother, Charlotte Manley told Phoenix, Arizona. CBS affiliate KTVK. “He is not a violent person, he is very quiet and calm. He is very sensitive.
“It is possible that he made the comments without realizing how it will affect the rest of his life,” he added.
Bowen is currently being held at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on $150,000 bond.
[Image via Casa Grande Police Department]
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