A 22-year-old Florida man was arrested after several threatening messages were posted on Instagram and Snapchat targeting Black Lives Matter demonstrations, sheriff’s officials in Sarasota said.
Sheriff’s investigators began looking at Quintin Adkins on June 11 after receiving an anonymous tip from an “old friend” about social media posts that included videos of him handling, loading and firing weapons, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported. He was arrested Thursday on a single count of written threats to kill.
The arrest affidavit said that Adkins used profanity in the videos while threatening to attend a Black Lives Matter demonstration and begin shooting. Protests took place across the country after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
Some of the videos showed him driving, loading a handgun and pointing it at other vehicles on the road around him, according to the affidavit. Deputies said he was also seen loading an AK-47 and pointing it out the front windshield of his car at other vehicles. Another video showed Adkins firing a handgun off the back patio of a home into the ground and another video shows him pointing a gun at a cat.
“I can blow your head off,” he said at the cat on the video, before pouring water on the animal.
The Florida legislature, in response to a 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, expanded a state statute to include threats to “conduct a mass shooting or an act or terrorism.”
“It is thanks to the added language that detectives were able to pursue charges in this investigation,” the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
Adkins was released on bond Friday. A lawyer for him is not listed on jail records.
Reprinted with permission from The Associated Press.