An East Haven woman was arrested Tuesday after she allegedly made online threats to carry out a mass shooting at Gateway Community College, according to an NBC Connecticutt report.
In her threat, Amanda Bowden, 19, reportedly referred to the Newtown school shooting.
Bowden — who apparently does not attend the downtown New Haven college — claimed she had weapons at her home and also posted a picture of herself holding a gun on her private Facebook page, the New Haven Independent reports. (A screen grab of that photo from Bowden's Facebook page is attached to this post.)
The investigation was led by the FBI, with the support of the East Haven Police and New Haven Police departments.
“As alleged, this defendant made a series of threats that described in great detail her intention to carry out a suicidal mass murder at a community college in New Haven,” stated U.S. Attorney David B. Fein. “All threats of this nature will be viewed as serious by this office and prosecuted to the full extent of federal law. I commend the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the New Haven and East Haven Police Departments for their swift investigation of this matter.”
“The FBI’s investigations into threats of violence will be swift and thorough,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz. “In this day and age, the making of any threat will not and cannot be tolerated. There will be consequences. The Agents and Task Force Officers assigned to the New Haven Division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the U.S. Attorney’s Office did an outstanding job in addressing this threat from the time it was first reported to the FBI until the successful arrest of the subject.”
According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, as alleged in the criminal complaint, between approximately Feb. 4 and Feb.16, Bowden made numerous telephonic threats, initially through text messaging with a cooperating witness and subsequently through text messaging and verbal conversations with an undercover law enforcement agent, discussing her plans to commit a suicidal mass shooting and bombing at Gateway Community College in New Haven. In these communications, Bowden claimed to possess firearms and to have constructed at least two napalm-based bombs at her residence.
No firearms or explosive devices or related materials were found during the search of her home, according to the release. She appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport and is detained pending a hearing that is scheduled for March 1.
The New Haven Register is reporting that East Haven Police officers were in attendance for support during Bowden's arrest.
Late Tuesday, East Haven Patch had received reports of the federal and local police activity along Ozone Road earlier that day, but was unable to confirm the actual nature of that activity until Wednesday afternoon.
Bowden had outstanding warrants for her arrest in East Haven, where she was wanted for risk of injury; as well as West Haven, where she was wanted for harrassment and endangerment, according to the Register's Jennifer Swift.
She was arraigned in state Superior Court in Milford earlier today. And she then expected to be arraigned in federal court in Bridgeport later today.