Echoes of Columbine in Possible Thwarted Texas Workplace Mass Shooting
Texas media sources are reporting a 19 year old Lubbock man has been charged with making false threats to a firearms dealer.
KCBD-TV also reports that police found an "AK-47 rifle, seventeen magazines loaded with ammunition, multiple knives, a black trench coat, black tactical pants, a black t-shirt that read “Let ‘Em Come,” and black tactical gloves with the fingers cut off" in a search of the suspect's hotel room.
On April 20, 1999, the date of the massacre at Colorado's Columbine High School, an episode which has influenced many attempted and successful workplace and school killings, the perpetrators, both of whom were teenagers like the accused here:
1. Had high velocity rifles;
2. Had multiple rounds of ammunition;
3. Had knives;
4. Wore black pants;
5. Wore black fingerless gloves;
5. One wore a white tee shirt with the words "Natural Selection" in black, the other wore a black tee shirt with the word "Wrath" in red.
Most infamously - the Lubbock defendant had a black trench coat. The Columbine killers were known to be part of a group called "The Trench Coat Mafia."
Pictured left - the Columbine killers wearing their infamous black trench coats in a school video project called "Hitmen for Hire" filmed December 1998 in the halls of Columbine High School . Pictured right - a CCD video still showing the Columbine killers in the CHS cafeteria on the day of the massacre.
Also according to KCBD-TV, the accused in Texas planned mass murder, as did the Columbine killers who planned to blow up their school killing hundreds. He also purportedly stated he wanted to "commit suicide by cop."
When bombs planted in the Columbine High School Library failed to detonate as planned, the two killers moved into active shooter mode and murdered one teacher and 12 students.
After law enforcement surrounded the school, the two committed suicide in the library.
U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox credits a relative of the accused who "said something" after the accused apparently leaked violent intent to her including telling her he planned to shoot up a hotel. She took him to a hospital, and following discharge he was arrested.
“I want to praise the defendant’s grandmother, who saved lives by interrupting this plot, as well as the Lubbock police officers and federal agents who investigated his unlawful acquisition of a deadly weapon," said Attorney Nealy Cox, "If you suspect a friend or loved one is planning violence against themselves or others, do not hesitate to seek help immediately by calling law enforcement.”
We have repeatedly advised that educating the community about the connection between leakage of violent intent and instituting reporting mechanisms that allow those in a position of authority to "do something" if and when they "see something" is a key way to mitigate the risk of violence.