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News > U.S.

Florida College Student Arrested After Mass Shooting Threats

  • View of Virginia Tech's Main Eggleston Hall, U.S., 2006.

    View of Virginia Tech's Main Eggleston Hall, U.S., 2006. | Photo: Creative Commons

Published 13 May 2020

The potential attacker defined himself as a "prophet of God" willing to die for the cause.

A 36-year-old student from the University of Florida was arrested after threatening to carry out a mass shooting at the Virginia State Polytechnic University campus.


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James Robert Kelly threatened to perform the attack if a journalist for the Independent Florida Alligator college newspaper made no changes to an article about him.

According to that publication, Kelly presented an ultimatum to society and threatened to release a manifesto, which called for ending women's rights to vote and limiting enrollment of Chinese people at Ivy League Universities​​​​​​​.

Kelly, who has a history of sexual harassment and dangerous behavior, is charged with "making written threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting," as local media WHSV reported.​​​​​​​

In his letter to the newspaper, Kelly states that he is a "prophet of God" and is determined to "become a terrorist and die" for the cause.

"I will gladly blame you for the unnecessary deaths of all Virginia Tech future students," he said in one of his written threats.

Authorities took these words seriously because previously, in 2007, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus in what is considered the third deadliest shooting in U.S. modern history.

The worst of these events occurred in Las Vegas in 2017, when a man opened fire from a hotel room against a crowd attending a concert, killing 58 people before ending his life.​​​​​​​

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