Florida college student arrested after threats to conduct mass shooting at Virginia Tech

James Robert Kelly
James Robert Kelly(Hardee County Jail)
Published: May. 12, 2020 at 10:33 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WDBJ7)-- A University of Florida student was arrested Monday after threatening to conduct a mass shooting at Virginia Tech if a local reporter in Florida did not meet his demands.

A barrage of violent claims and plans filled a document obtained by the University of Florida Police Department after a May 4 story in "The Alligator," the independent newspaper serving University of Florida students and the Gainesville community for over 100 years, accused James Robert Kelly, 36 of Bowling Green, of threatening to rape his fellow students.

According to the Bowling Green Police Department, UF officials forwarded them two emails Monday, one of which contained an attached document titled "school shooting (draft)." This draft letter document was directed to a reporter with "The Alligator" and one of the writers of the story. Kelly begins his letter announcing he has challenged a Virginia Tech Reddit moderator and his friend with keeping 'the Virginia Tech community, campus, and students safe from the most dangerous domestic terrorist who has ever lived.'

The suspect continues next by making two outlined demands of the reporter that she not violate his transgender rights and use his real name, and that she visit a website where he asks that a screenshot be produced to support a claim that he threatened to rape a fellow student.

Kelly adds that he will gladly blame the Alligator staff member for the deaths of all future Virginia Tech students after making specific references to the 2007 campus shooter's manifesto. He claims he also is the Prophet of God and will make the process of killing people easier.

The Alligator reached out to Virginia Tech for comment, and also detailed other demands made by Kelly to society, such as releasing the Virginia Tech shooter's manifesto, ending women's rights to vote and limiting enrollment of Chinese people at Ivy League Universities.

Mark Owczarski, the spokesperson for Virginia Tech, declined any comment on case specifics but confirmed the university has a case open into the suspect.

After printing the emails and the attached document, the Bowling Green Police Department went to Kelly’s home and recorded an interview after he acknowledged his rights.

James Robert Kelly was arrested at the end of the interview. He is charged with making written threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting.

Kelly was earlier under a University of Florida code of conduct investigation for harassment, “endangering behavior” and sexual harassment, according to The Alligator report.

He was being held at a Florida jail on a bail of $5,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.

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