The Michigan man plans to stage a mass shooting at an East Lansing synagogue in private messages on Instagram, according to FBI investigators who arrested the man on Friday.
FBI Arrests Michigan Man
Friday, a 19-year-old Michigan man identified as Seann Pietila of Pickford, expressed his plans to stage a mass shooting in private messages on Instagram, according to documents filed last week when he was indicted with communicating a danger across state lines.
On Friday, Daily News reported that Pietila was arrested after FBI officials were alerted to his communications earlier in the week and worked to confirm his real identity.
When investigators went to his home, they found multiple unsecured firearms, a red and white Nazi flag, a ghillie suit, gas masks, and military sniper/survival manuals, according to charging documents filed.
A search of the suspect’s phone revealed a message in a note app with the name of Congregation Shaarey Zedek along with a date of March 15, 2024, and a list of supplies, including guns and pipe bombs, according to the complaint.
Pietila told investigators that he did not plan to make an attack, which he said he had originally set for this year, but he claimed that he planned to kill himself.
The Michigan Man Was Charged By The Western District of Michigan
Seann Pietila was accused by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan of transmitting a communication containing a threat to harm another.
Investigators stated that the suspect had spoken with another user on Instagram where they talked about strong views against the Jewish population, supporting neo-Nazis, and antisemitic ideologies held by previous mass shooters, according to the criminal complaint.
Brittany Stob the suspect’s mother, told ABC News in a phone call on Saturday that her son Pietila is still being held in jail pending a detention hearing next week. The mother also claimed that her son is non-violent and was not truly planning an attack.
Moreover, Stob also claimed that the guns and gear seized by the FBI all belonged to her and her husband, not her son.