A 27-year-old man was arrested in Utah on Saturday after threatening to shoot up a public place, specifying that he’d kill every woman he sees. Christopher Wayne Cleary wrote his threats in a Facebook post, which several women brought to the attention of the Denver police, according to The Denver Post.
Cleary, who was visiting Utah from Colorado, had reportedly posted the following threat to his Facebook:
“All I wanted was a girlfriend, not 1000 not a bunch of hoes not money none of that. All I wanted was to be loved, yet no one cares about me I’m 27 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend before and I’m still a virgin, this is why I’m planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter cause I’m ready to die and all the girls the turned me down is going to make it right by killing as many girls as I see. There’s nothing more dangerous than man ready to die.”
Police said they were especially concerned because there were several Women’s Marches happening across Utah that day, including in Provo and Salt Lake City.
After learning about the social media message, police officers and FBI agents worked together to track the suspect’s phone to a McDonald’s in Provo. Cleary was reportedly staying at an Airbnb in Provo.
According to the probable cause statement, Cleary made suicidal comments and said he had issues with impulse control.
“I asked him specifically about the threats he had made on Facebook, and he admitted to making the threats, but claimed to be upset and not thinking clearly when he did so,” the officer who interviewed Cleary said in the statement, according to KUTV. “During my interview with Cleary he made suicidal comments, and said he thought it might be better if he died. He talked about handcuffing himself to a tree in the middle of nowhere where no one could hear him scream as a means of killing himself.”
Officers searched Cleary’s cell phone and said they didn’t find any more threats.
This wasn’t his first or even second scrape with the law. At the time of his Saturday arrest, he was less than a year into a three-year probation for felony stalking, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to a similar felony stalking charge in 2016. In a case stemming from a 2015 arrest, he was charged with posting a private image for harassment, posting a private image for monetary gain, harassment by striking or kicking a person, and harassment by repeated phone calls. He pleaded guilty to the final charge, and the former were dismissed.
If the attack had been carried out, it could have become the latest massacre by a man linked to the “Incel” – involuntary celibacy – community.
A spotlight was shone on the Incel community in May 2014 when Elliot Rodger went on a knife and gun rampage, killing six people in Isla Vista, California, before shooting himself.
In a video uploaded to YouTube the day before the massacre, Rodger described his plans to shoot women and promised retribution for his “loneliness and frustration” at never having had a girlfriend and for being a virgin.