You know, I don’t post about every school shooting threat anymore. They’ve become so commonplace anymore that I only post those where there’s a credible threat. Long gone are the days of posting every threat that was ‘just a joke.’
I don’t even post all the stories about threats being made on online games. While I don’t believe video games cause violence, there are an inordinate amount of gamers whose social skills could use a little work, to say the least, and sometimes they something inappropriate during the heat of the game. However, after having said that, there’s something about this story that makes me think this suspect was serious.
23-year-old Shane Rei Davis of Pace, Florida was arrested for allegedly making a school shooting threat against the University of West Florida while playing the game Valorant. While Valorant is a team-based shooter in the vein of Overwatch, it’s not what I would call overly violent. Its graphics tend to be more cartoonishly colored than say a game like Call of Duty.
But it’s not the game itself that worries me about Davis but what he allegedly said during a round of the game.
According to an arrest report, Davis made the following comments via an in-game chat that was visible to other online players:
“I just have to get 34 kills to be a legend”
“But I calculate around 50″
“You will see the biggest school shooting”
“I’ll carry more ammo than these unprepared r******”
“I will be a legend”
“You will all feel my pain.
“Surprising Asian Americans are always the top of school shooters, right?”
Davis seems to have at least passing knowledge about school shootings, or at least one particular school shooting. In his screed, Davis is referencing the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech was the country’s deadliest school shooting with 33 victims having been killed. It was perpetrated by Cho Seung-Hui who was of Korean descent.
It seems the police believe he was serious as well as he’s been held on $1 million bail.
Davis’ Facebook is still active so I took a look at it. While anything that’s public doesn’t seem to give off any school shooter vibes, he does appear to lean right-wing and anti-trans. A number of mass shooters in recent years have been right-wing and even ‘alt-right’.
I haven’t seen any reports about how far along Davis may have been in any potential plot or whether he was in possession of weapons.
UPDATE 10/30/2020: Davis has been released on $250,000 bail. He’s been ordered to wear a GPS device and to stay away from the University of West Florida.