Police in San Antonio arrested a 19-year-old man Monday after he allegedly told a co-worker at an Amazon warehouse that he planned to carry out a mass shooting at the facility.
Rodolfo Valdivia Aceves was taken into custody “without incident,” according to police, and has been charged with making terroristic threats.
“Based on information gathered, an employee of the location heard the suspect claiming he was going to do a mass shooting at this place of business,” a synopsis of the incident provided to Yahoo News by Officer Ricardo Guzman of the San Antonio Police Department said. “Credible information to support the threat was developed during the investigation by Homicide detectives.”
Aceves had reportedly told a female co-worker last Friday — after a fire alarm went off and employees evacuated the building — that it would be a good idea for someone to pull the fire alarm to have workers exit the building in case of a mass shooting. He later allegedly said he planned to carry one out, according to local station KSAT-TV. The co-worker didn’t tell anyone about the threat Friday because she said she was afraid of Aceves and feared he would retaliate, but she changed her mind Monday and told her managers after becoming increasingly worried that Aceves would carry out his plan.
The woman said Aceves revered the Uvalde shooter — an 18-year-old gunman who last month killed 19 children and two teachers — and called him an “idol.” She added that Aceves had recently said he was “tired of living” and had purchased an AR-style rifle.
Aceves’s father later told investigators that his son has a history of mental illness, had stopped taking his medication years ago and had spent time in a mental health facility on two occasions when he was 16. Family members were worried when they learned he had purchased a gun. (Federal background checks conducted in Texas do not flag mental health admittance for juveniles.)
The arrest comes just days after President Biden signed into law the first major federal gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years, which helps states create and execute crisis intervention programs and closes a loophole in domestic violence law.
“Time is of the essence. Lives will be saved,” Biden said at the bill’s signing. “How many times have you heard that: ‘Just do something, for God’s sake, just do something.’”
Biden had asked Congress that the bill include a ban on assault weapons and an increase in the legal age to purchase firearms from 18 to 21, but neither was included in the legislation.
Aceves is currently being held on $50,000 bond.
Cover thumbnail photo: Rodolfo Valdivia Aceves (Bexar County Jail)