A 17-year-old homophobe from Ontario has been arrested for threatening to open fire at a West Palm Beach, Florida Pride event over the weekend, officials said Monday.
The Miami Police Department received a report on Sunday, June 5 of someone on Omegle threatening to commit a mass shooting at Pride on the Block 2022 in West Palm Beach.
Police said the suspect was seen waving a gun in the video, making homophobic comments, and claiming to live in Florida, where he said he was going to commit the mass shooting that day.
The West Palm Beach PD collaborated with the FBI, NYPD, Toronto Police and Peel Police to determine the location of the suspect.
A SWAT unit and undercover officers helped ensure security at the event while officers tried to locate the subject.
An arrest was made in Mississauga early yesterday morning. Both the video and the handgun seen in the video were recovered during the arrest.
Canadian authorities are charging the suspect with threatening to commit a mass shooting. Similar charges are expected in Florida, including threats to kill, injure, or commit a mass shooting or an act of terrorism.
Media outlets in Canada are not permitted to disclose the identity of the alleged terrorist due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act. There are no such restrictions for American media, so if you’d like to see what evil looks like, read the New York Post’s coverage of this guy.
According to the Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces, LGBTQ+ are almost three times more likely to be victims of violence than straight people. This number is believed to be underestimated.
Due to the sensitivity of hate crimes, particularly ones targeting sexual orientation or gender, some victims may be reluctant to come forward for fear of secondary victimization.
In 2020, police reported 259 hate crimes aimed at individuals based on their perceived sexual orientation, a decline of 2% from the previous year. 10% of hate crimes reported to police in 2020 were motivated by hatred of a particular sexual orientation.
The LGBTQ+ community as a whole is increasingly accepted in society, but social media continues to allow homophobes to spread hate towards them. This hatred can sometimes manifest into violent crimes targeting LGBTQ+ people.
On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old domestic terrorist, opened fire at Pulse, an Orlando gay club. 49 people were killed and dozens more were injured.