An 18-year-old Florida man is accused of threatening to shoot up his church in comments posted on YouTube videos about the Pulse Nightclub massacre and the mass shooting at Club Q.
Seth Montes is facing a charge of written threats to kill and remains at the Volusia County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
The FBI called the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office after it received information about a threat made online. Law enforcement tracked the IP address to a home in DeLand. The comments were made on YouTube videos of news broadcasts from the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, and the 2022 massacre at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Montes allegedly threatened to carry out similar acts at his church.
“I’m going to get on the news next week and go down as the biggest church shooter on record against homophobic Christians,” he wrote, according to a probable cause arrest affidavit reviewed by Law&Crime.
He also said he supported Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who murdered nine people at a Charleston, South Carolina, church in 2015, and Audrey Hale who shot and killed six people at Covenant School in Nashville earlier this year, the affidavit said.
“I am going to a church next week ## goal is at least 20 people,” he’s accused of writing.
Montes also apparently went on tirades directed toward religion and people of faith.
“Idc [I don’t care] about no god,” he allegedly wrote. “It’s all for weak minded people and I’m planning on what this guy did here to my local church you religious people make my life a living hell. I’m done.”
Volusia County sheriff’s detectives went to the home on Tuesday. When they arrived, Montes’ mom asked them if it was in response to comments her son made on YouTube. The detectives answered in the affirmative and interviewed Montes who allegedly admitted to making the comments. He allegedly told the detectives that he was “trolling,” meaning he was trying to incite an emotional response. Montes allegedly said he was curious about mass shootings but had no plans of harming anyone. His family also said they do not belong to a church.
Montes was then arrested.
Detectives searched Montes’ bedroom but did not find any weapons or anything suspicious. There was a gun in the home that was locked in a gun box but Montes did not have access to it and his parents planned to get rid of it, the affidavit said.
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