SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – A Santa Ana man is facing charges of using Instagram to send threatening messages to victims of the Parkland, Florida mass killing.
Brandon Fleury was arrested Jan. 18 by the FBI and made an appearance in court in Santa Ana where he was granted bail. He is due in court again in Miami on Jan. 28, said Laura Eimiller of the FBI. Fleury is accused of cyberstalking and threats in interstate communications, according to the FBI affidavit in the case.
The alleged threatening social media posts were made between Dec. 22 and Jan. 11, according to the FBI. The messages tagged Instagram accounts used by “relatives and friends of students who were killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2018,” according to the affidavit.
The shooting claimed the lives of 17 students and staff members and left 17 others injured.
“One post threatened to kidnap the message recipients, while others sought to harass the recipients by repeatedly taunting the relatives and friends of the MSD victims, cheering the deaths of their loved ones and, among other things, asking them to cry,” the affidavit alleges.
Fleury is accused of using a handful of Instagram accounts using a computer in his home, where he lives with his father and brother, according to the FBI.
Fleury told FBI agents that he was using the social media site to “troll” the victims “and gain popularity,” the affidavit alleges. He “admitted to targeting family members who were `activists’ who had a large social media presence,” according to the FBI.
The alleged victims complained to sheriff’s deputies in Broward County Florida “on or about Dec. 22,” according to the FBI. Fleury said he used various profiles with variations on the name of Nikolas Cruz, the alleged Parkland mass killer, the FBI alleged. Fleury allegedly told agents that he was fascinated with Cruz and other mass shooters as well as serial killers such as Ted Bundy.
“Fleury did not show remorse for posting the comments but explained he would not follow through on the threats he communicated,” the FBI alleged. “He claimed that his messages were not threats, but were ‘more like taunts,'” according to the FBI.
Fleury allegedly posted messages such as, “I killed your loved ones hahaha,” the FBI reported.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)