Redmond police have taken weapons from a man after online postings showed the 23-year-old resident holding two AK-47-type weapons in an online posting.
The post, dated Sept. 26, read, “One ticket for joker please.”
Police believed the post referenced the movie “Joker,” a film currently raking in millions at box offices across the country. Police also found prior social media postings of the man claiming to be an “incel,” which is short for involuntary celibate.
The U.S. Army issued a warning about the potential of mass shootings at movie showings, according to the extreme risk protection order (ERPO). “This warning was distributed after social media posts related to extremists classified as ‘incels’ was uncovered by intelligence officials at the FBI,” the document states. The IPIC Redmond theater requested police security for three days last week.
The Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) criminal intelligence unit alerted the Redmond Police Department about the posting on Oct. 1. The next day, Redmond detectives checked into SPD’s concerns and seized three handguns, three long guns and various magazines and other rifle parts, after filing the ERPO.
The filing also states a number of the man’s posts indicated that he used gun kits to make ghost guns. But detectives did not find a ghost gun among the weapons he surrendered — nor was there a 3-D printer involved.
However, police did not search his home, said RPD spokesperson Andrea Wolf-Buck. A search would have been beyond the scope of the ERPO. She added that he told police he was joking, and as far as the department knows, has no criminal history.
Even still, police are hoping the court will issue a year-long ERPO that prohibits the man from being in possession, purchasing or accessing any firearms because of evidence on public forums and his history of “violent and disturbing” social media threats toward women.
Some of the concerning posts include a July 2017 Twitter post that states,”Prowling the Seattle street for women to assault. No luck so far. Hopefully my urges will be satisfied soon.” Another from September 2017 says, “ Kill all women.” In April 2017 he allegedly wrote, “Dear ISIS Please execute every non-incel.”
Photos included in the filing show a collage of tweets of what appears to be the man. One reads, “I really just want to punch a woman so hard her entire body just buckles and collapses.”
The ERPO is the sixth investigated by RPD since the law was approved in 2016. ERPOs are meant to target those who may be at risk of harming themselves or others. Family, household members and police can file the order, but it must be approved by a judge. It is not a criminal charge. The Redmond man will go before a superior court judge on Oct. 15.
If the court approves the ERPO, it can be reissued if there’s new activity and the court determines the Redmond man is a danger to himself or others. If there’s no concerning new action, the weapons could be returned to him.