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A Florida college student is under arrest after he allegedly used the popular instant messaging and social media platform Discord to threaten a mass shooting at Florida State University.
Sean Michael Albert, 19, of Winter Park, and a student at Full Sail University was arrested on Tuesday and charged with making an interstate communication to threaten to injure another person. The criminal complaint alleges that on December 16 of last year Albert posted a picture to a Discord server showing an AK-47 with the following text:
"600 W College Ave, Tallahassee, FL 32306. At 13:00 December 17, 2022 100 [F****ts] Will Die, Cya there!"
The threat was posted by user BloodstainedSand#0088 and the address listed is Florida State University.
The threat was reported to the FBI in Orlando and an investigation was opened. FSU increased patrols on campus and Discord voluntarily provided authorities with the relevant information associated with the user making the threat. Albert was quickly identified as the owner of the account, according to authorities.
FBI interviews with his roommate, landlord, and a security manager at Full Sail University revealed what the charging documents describe as "a history of violence and a pattern of concerning behavior" from Albert.
"In particular, it is assessed that Albert has rapidly progressed from making controversial statements online, to confrontation with classmates and peers in online spaces, as well as direct confrontation with people outside of his university," the charging documents read.
Authorities list several of the alleged threatening posts attributed to Albert including: "'Kill all joggers' (which he indicated was a coded reference to a derogatory term for Black people); 'Tear gas a synagogue' (in response to a question about whether or not he had weekend plans); and, 'A genocide on faggots NEEDS to happen not even a question.'"
Albert was out of state during the investigation, and FBI officials arranged a search warrant for his phone. The warrant was executed at Orlando International Airport on January 1 upon Albert's return from the Washington, D.C., area. He voluntarily submitted to an interview with the FBI where he reportedly tried to portray the post as an attempt at humor.
When asked to explain why he posted the message, Albert said he didn't think his post was illegal but was instead meant to be "ironic," "satirical," and a "joke."
He reportedly said he chose the FSU address because he knew it would generate the most reaction on the server.
Albert was taken into custody on Tuesday without incident and Thursday appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Embry Kidd in an Orlando federal court. He was ordered held without bail until his next court appearance.