WICHITA FALLS, Texas — A north Texas man has been arrested for threatening to shoot and kill U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other governmental officials in a Facebook rant calling on others to "shoot to kill."
27-year-old Gavin Weslee Blake Perry was arrested on Wednesday after a concerned citizen reported the comments to the Wichita Falls Police Department which, in turn, and with assistance from the FBI's Wichita Falls Resident Agency's Safe Streets Taskforce, the FBI Dallas Field Office, and the U.S. Capital Police, investigated the case.
Perry made his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Hal R. Ray in federal court on Thursday where he stood charged via a criminal complaint with transmitting a threatening communication in interstate commerce.
“If youre a dem or apart of the establishment in the democrats side I view you as a criminal and a terrorist and I advise everyone to Go SOS [shoot on sight] and use live rounds,” Perry allegedly posted on March 23, according to the criminal complaint. “This is not gonna change until we attact NSA the DOJ the FBI and Any other agencies who want to get involved."
"Shoot to kill," he allegedly stated. "This is a revolution.”
Later that same day, Perry allegedly wrote "[Pelosi] is apart of a satanic cult and so are the people who work closly with her. Dems of the establishment will be removed at any cost necessary and yes that means by death."
At the time of his arrest, Perry admitted to police the account belonged to him and that he was warning Americans to beware of a "tyrannical" government.
"He then stated that the officers were violating his First Amendment right to free speech, a violation he felt was punishable by death," according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Texas. "He also stated he intended to bond out of jail and planned to refuse to comply with any order to come to court. He said he does not recognize the authority of the federal government."
If convicted, Perry faces up to five years in federal prison.
“The Department of Justice takes the security of our public servants seriously. Americans are entitled to voice their opinions – but we will not allow them to threaten our officials’ physical safety,” stated U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “This defendant’s threats against the Speaker and law enforcement agents are wholly inexcusable, and we look forward to bringing him to justice.”
“The defendant threatened the life of an elected official and that will not be tolerated. The FBI and our law enforcement partners work hard every day to protect our citizens from harm,” stated FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. “Thank you to our partners at the Wichita Falls Police Department for assisting in this investigation. Thank you as well to the concerned citizen who reported the online threat. We ask that everyone continue to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”