WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WWSB) - The sheriff’s office in Polk County has arrested a 17-year-old gamer who deputies say made violent, disturbing threats on Discord, a social media platform for video game enthusiasts.
Detectives received tips about the threats made by the teen and requested records from several companies to connect him to a home in Winter Haven, where he was staying with an adult family member while they visited a friend.
The teen was arrested on Wednesday and charged with making a written threat to kill or injure. Among the things detectives say he wrote include:
- “I’M GOING TO KILL SO MANY PEOPLE!!!!
- “SO MAY [MANY] BAD GUYS WILL DIE!!”
- “I’M GOING TO ATAB [STAB] SO MAY [MANY] PEOPLE AND MAKE THEM HURT!!”
- “I get pretty happy when I imagine myself being a villain going on a mass murdering spree like in a movie as f***ed up as it sounds….”
- “HAHAHAHAHAHA I WANT SO MANY PEOPLE TO DIE BY HAND AND THEN PLAY WITH THEIR GUTS WHILE THAY ARE STILL ALIVE!!!”
- “NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME!!! BUT THEY WILL UNDERSTAND HOW DEAD THEY WILL BE IN A MINUTE!!”
- “at this point I’ve given up, and there’s nothing left for me but anger depression and suicide… I feel like if I ever took over the world every person that treated me like sh** I would take them and make them suffer and make them have a slow death, and I would enjoy every single minute of it…”
Detectives interviewed the teen and learned he previously made threats about a school shooting in Illinois. The teen, who is no longer a student, reportedly told detectives that he made these threats because he was jealous of other gamers getting praise and validation.
During the interview, detectives say the teen admitted making the threats, knew they were wrong, and understood that others would fine them threatening. In their arrest report, detectives write he "acknowledged that he sometimes feels like wanting to kill others, but he would never actually act upon it because he knows it’s wrong.”
The teen used several usernames on Discord, a voice- and text-based chat tool aimed at gamers who use it to talk to one another while playing multiplayer online games. Users can send direct messages to others, chat and talk or listen in larger chat groups.
Detectives say the teen expressed suicidal and homicidal thoughts while online. Earlier this month, he reportedly wrote:
“I’ve tried looking on the positive side before, but every time I did, I got so confident, so happy, I felt so good, and I do feel great, just to have it ripped away by somebody whoes [who is] either a di** to me, broke up with me, makes fun of me etc, and at this point I’ve given up, and there’s nothing left for me but anger depression and suicide....I hate to sound dark...but...sometimes with this whole Hyperion thing, I feel like if I ever took over the world every person that treated me like shit I would take them and make them suffer and make them have a slow death, and I would enjoy every single minute of it, that’s why I hide myself behind Handsome Jack, cause at this point that’s all I really feel like, a Handsome Jack, being betrayed by everyone and being wronged by everyone over and over again till it drives me insane, and right now, I got nothing that makes me happier right now but death, or to make those assholes suffer, that’s all I got right now...”
The sheriff’s office thanked those who came forward and for the companies who helped them identify and locate the teen.
Sheriff Grady Judd said, “We have learned from studying active shooters that in many cases there were indicators, clues, and threats that were ignored prior to their evil actions. We can’t ignore these kinds of threats anymore. We must take those who make threats at their word. These people have to be intercepted and dealt with criminally and/or provided medical and mental health services.”