Federal officials have arrested a man in Washington state on suspicion of plotting a mass shooting targeting Hispanic people in Florida, court documents filed Monday revealed.
Maryland resident Eric Lin, 35, wanted to kill as many Hispanic people as he could in Miami and elsewhere, an FBI agent said in a sworn affidavit filed Monday with the Southern District of Florida.
Lin made his threats in a long series of Facebook messages to an unnamed individual that were provided to law enforcement. The missives were packed with racial and ethnic slurs, praise for Adolf Hitler, threats of sexual violence, genocide and cannibalism.
Lin joins a growing number of men arrested for allegedly plotting mass shootings across the country after the early August massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, where back-to-back shootings left more than 30 dead.
Disturbing excerpts of the messages show that Lin allegedly threatened to rape and murder the unnamed individual along with the person’s family before targeting “all Hispanics” and other ethnic groups. He heaped praise on the Trump administration for supporting what he called a “race war.”
“I Thank God everyday President Donald John Trump is President,” Lin allegedly wrote.
The person who received the messages over a span of about three months said Lin frequented the restaurant where they worked. In one message, Lin allegedly sent a composite image of his face and that of Hitler. The messages totaled about 150 pages when downloaded and printed.
Another man, Thomas Matthew McVicker, 38, was also arrested last week for allegedly plotting to open fire in an unspecified Memphis church before killing himself. McVicker’s mother claims her son is on medication for schizophrenia, an FBI agent said in a sworn affidavit filed on Friday with the Southern District of Alabama.
Agents were tipped off by a friend of McVicker’s in Alabama, who said the suspect had been talking about “shooting a church up” and slitting a pastor’s throat with a knife.
Three other men were arrested across the country over the weekend for making similar threats of mass violence.
Brandon Wagshol, 22, was arrested in Connecticut after expressing interest in stockpiling weapons; Tristan Scott Wix, 25, was arrested in Florida after telling his girlfriend “a good 100 kills would be nice”; and James Patrick Reardon, 20, was arrested in Ohio after threatening a Jewish community center.
Another man, 19-year-old Farhan Sheikh, was charged with threatening to kill people inside a Chicago abortion clinic in an Aug. 23 attack.