March 24, 2023



CNN
 — 

A 20-year-old man from Upstate New York has been charged with making a terroristic threat after threatening to carry out a shooting at the Tops Friendly Markets in Manlius, New York, in a Discord post, according to court documents and local police.

Police responded to a call Saturday from the manager of the Tops in Manlius – a village in Onondaga County – who said that the store got phone calls from two different people expressing their concern over statements made by a Discord user saying he was going to harm shoppers at their supermarket, according to court documents obtained by CNN affiliate WSTM.

The two witnesses who called the supermarket reported that the threatening remarks on Discord – which included a racist reference – came from a 20-year-old man named Zachary who lives in the Manlius area and whose father recently died, according to the documents.

Police investigated the posts and identified the user as Zachary Mullen of Jamesville, according to a statement from the Town of Manlius Police Department.

Law enforcement arrested Mullen on Saturday for making a terroristic threat and, when conducting a search of his home afterward, found guns and ammunition, according to the police statement.

A judge also issued an Extreme Risk Protection Order against Mullen on Sunday, which allowed authorities to seize at least two firearms from his home.

CNN was unable to identify an attorney for Mullen.

“There were some racist overtones to the posts made by Mr. Mullen and as of this moment we’re still trying to connect the dots as to why he picked the Tops in Manlius, but certainly the location of the store, the name of the store, the racist natures of the post, would cause anyone pause, that this may have been far more dastardly than it even looks on the surface,” Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick told WSTM.

Discord is the same social media site that a convicted mass shooter posted on before killing 10 people at a Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo.

Law enforcement officials verified that Mullen’s father, who they say was an avid hunter, had died a few days prior to Mullen’s posts on Discord and that he was grieving, according to the affidavit.

Mullen, who lives with his mother, is not currently in jail, according to the county district attorney.

“Unfortunately, he’s out on what’s known as pre-trial release because we live in New York and that’s the nature of Bail reform in New York. Incredibly enough he is out so if he has secret access to a gun, God forbid, that’s something we just don’t know but we’ll certainly be monitoring him as much as we can,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement to WSTM.

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