Crime

Virginia man arrested for threatening to shoot senators, fiancé calls threats ‘satire’

virginia man sends threatening tweets against SenatorsOn Monday, NBC Washington reported that Kyler Schmitz, an Uber driver in Virginia, was ordered held in jail for tweets threatening to shoot at least two U.S. senators.

According to NBC Washington:

In at least one of the tweets, sent in the days immediately after the Orlando nightclub shooting, Schmitz allegedly threatened to shoot Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). The message was directed at Blunt’s official Twitter handle.

The tweets, which included graphic and violent language, led to an investigation by U.S. Capitol Police.

An automated license plate reader detected Schmitz’s car on Independence Avenue SW within two blocks of the U.S. Capitol in the hours after he posted some of the messages, prosecutors said.

He acknowledged sending the tweets, but his fiancé, Paul Cianciolo, said they were meant as “parody” and satire.  According to his defense lawyer, the tweets were “inartful political discourse” on the issue of gun control.

Here’s a video report by NBC Washington:


U.S. Capitol Police said Schmitz intended to make a “direct threat” to a U.S. Senator, but according to testimony, he doesn’t own a gun.

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“I can’t wait to shoot you in the face one by one,” he reportedly tweeted.

A judge ordered him held until further court proceedings.

“I don’t know how to read these tweets in any way but as threatening,” the judge said.

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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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