Radford News Journal

Arrested Florida man pledged new mass shooting at Tech

April 16, 2007, is a date Virginia Tech would like to forget. On that day, a student shot and killed 32 people and wounded another 17. The suspect committed suicide as police stormed Norris Hall where some of the shootings took place.

The incident was one of the deadliest mass shootings by a lone gunman in U.S. history.

The shooter had sent a manifesto to national media outlets with some of it being released to the public. Several times in similar incidents that followed, the Tech shooting has been remembered. A memorial still stands at the university.

All of this tragedy came back to the forefront this week when a Florida man warned he was planning another mass shooting at the Blacksburg campus.

36-year-old James Robert Kelly of Bowling Green, Fla., was arrested Monday. He described himself as a “prophet of God” and claimed he would die for the “cause.” He allegedly had been involved in an email disagreement with the University of Florida newspaper, the Independent Florida Gator, after the paper published an article about his erratic behavior.

A message to the newspaper referenced the past Tech shooting and said if the article wasn’t corrected he would hurt future Tech students with another shooting. Investigators say he even admitted to making a call to Virginia Tech where he threatened the attack.

Police have charged him with making a written threat to kill, do bodily injury or conduct a mass shooting.

Virginia Tech officials have said they know about the arrest but had no other comment.

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