Florida Man Arrested in Austin Over Chilling Threat to Shoot Up Tesla Event, Cops Say

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Texas cops arrested a 28-year-old Florida man Wednesday who allegedly drove well over a thousand miles to potentially carry out a mass shooting at a Tesla Cybertruck event in Austin this week.

Paul Ryan Overeem, of Orlando, has been charged with making a terroristic threat, records show. The offense is a third-degree felony that carries a prison sentence up to 20 years in Texas if convicted.

An arrest affidavit obtained by the Austin American-Statesman laid out how law enforcement thwarted Overeem’s alleged plan. It all began Nov. 10 when Tesla officials were tipped off that a man—later identified as Overeem—was talking about carrying out a mass shooting in an Instagram group chat, police said.

According to the affidavit, authorities subpoenaed Instagram to find out who was behind the account “ufotnoitalumis,” determining it was Overeem.

On Wednesday, authorities said a traffic camera caught Overeem’s vehicle with Florida plates at a pair of stop lights in Austin. They said they eventually pulled over Overeem as he drove elsewhere in Travis County—where Austin is located—after his phone pinged just miles from where a Cybertruck event was being attended by Elon Musk at Tesla’s headquarters.

Musk, who hasn’t made a statement about the threat, wasn’t specifically identified in the affidavit as being a target, according to the American-Statesman. Overeem’s Instagram messages, which were littered with spelling mistakes, said he intended to shoot up the event at Tesla and that he wanted to die.

“But yeah so at teh (sic) Tesla event I’m planning to attach (sic) so up to you guys to stop me,” he allegedly wrote.

The message continued, “I plan on killing people at that even (sic) ok (sic) November 30th and I would like you do something about it so I don’t have to…I wanna die.”

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office declined to tell NBC News if Overeem possessed any weapons when he was arrested, the network reported.

The affidavit said Overeem had no ties to Austin, and it didn’t identify the people who were in his Instagram group chat.

Overeem was being held in jail Wednesday in lieu of $300,000 bail, jail records show. He was appointed a public defender and has a hearing scheduled for Dec. 11.

This post was originally published on Daily Beast

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