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Authorities arrest 3 men who they allege were planning separate mass shootings in 3 states – FOX 11 Los Angeles

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Officials said three mass shootings in three states were averted when three suspects were arrested over the last week. 

The three men in their 20s allegedly plotted massacres in their respective locations, according to authorities in Florida, Connecticut and Ohio. 

Tristan Scott Wix, 25, in Florida

In Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, authorities said Tristan Scott Wix, 25, has been arrested, charged and accused of threatening a mass shooting in text messages. 

Wix sent several text messages stating he wanted to “break a world record for longest confirmed kill ever,” the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said. 

The office said that in another message, Wix texted he wanted to reach 100 victims and had decided on a location. It was unclear who Wix was texting or how deputies obtained the information.

Authorities said Wix was arrested Friday at a supermarket in Daytona Beach Shores on a charge of making written threats to kill. Wix told detectives he didn’t own firearms but was fascinated with mass shootings, according to the sheriff’s news release. The office also released contents of the alleged text messages. 

“A school is a weak target.. id be more likely to open fire on a large crowd of people from over 3 miles away.. I’d wanna break a world record for longest confirmed kill ever,” Wix allegedly texted. “I wanna open fire on a large crowd of people from over 3 miles away before I die and I need a spotter (laughing cry face emoji).”

“What you wanna do after the fact, is your own business, if you want to plan to escape we can work on that. But I don’t intend on walking away alive, unless I see it fit,” he allegedly texted. “But a good 100 kills would be nice. I already have a location (laughing cry face emoji) is that bad?”

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood credited Wix’s ex-girlfriend for alerting deputies.

“She did what we beg people in the community to do – see something, say something, and let us take it from there,” Chitwood added.

Wix will remain behind bars on no bond.

Jail records didn’t list an attorney for Wix.

Brandon Wagshol, 22, in Connecticut

In Norwalk, Connecticut, authorities said they arrested Brandon Wagshol, 22, who they believe was interested in committing a mass shooting. Wagshol was charged Thursday with illegal possession of large capacity ammunition magazines, Norwalk and FBI officials said. 

Police said they received a tip that Wagshol was trying to buy large-capacity rifle magazines from out of state. 

Officials allege Wagshol was attempting to build a rifle with parts bought online. They said a Facebook posting showed his interest in committing a mass shooting. 

Authorities said they seized firearms, body armor and other items from Wagshol’s home. They said the firearms are registered to his father. 

In a statement to investigators Thursday, Wagshol said he “did not have the intention of committing any mass shootings at all whatsoever,” according to the Hartford Courant.

But Wagshol admitted that he drove three hours to New Hampshire to buy the 30-round magazines and 300 rounds of ammunition in order to circumvent what he believed as an “unconstitutional restriction” on the Second Amendment right to bear arms, the Courant reported. 

Wagshol is a student at Central Connecticut State University. CCSU President Zulma R. Toro said Friday that Wagshol has been banned from campus, the paper reported. 

“Norwalk police contacted the CCSU Police Department soon after Mr. Wagshol’s arrest, and we placed him on interim suspension pending further investigation. He is banned from campus at this time,” Toro wrote in a message to the CCSU community.  She confirmed that Wagshol attended classes and lived on campus last semester, according to the paper. 

It wasn’t immediately clear if Wagshol has a lawyer who could respond to the allegations. 

Wagshol was held on $250,000 bail.

James Reardon, Jr., 20, in Ohio

In New Middletown, Ohio, police said James Reardon, Jr., 20, is accused of making what they believe was a threat to a Jewish center on Instagram. 

New Middletown police said they arrested Reardon at his home Saturday morning in the Mahoning County village on telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing charges. Reardon has pleaded not guilty. 

A judge near Youngstown set bond at $250,000 for Reardon on Monday and ordered him to stay away from Jewish churches and organizations if he is released from jail.

Police Chief Vincent D’Egidio said Reardon allegedly posted a video last month of a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle with the caption, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Reardon,” according to WKBN-TV.

“This is a small wonderful community and this made my heart sink when I saw the video,” New Middletown Police Chief Vincent D’Egidio told Fox 8 Cleveland.  

The post tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown, while authorities said the Instagram account was Reardon’s.

Police said rounds of ammunition, semi-automatic weapons and anti-Semitic information were found at his house.

Andy Lipkin, Youngstown Area Jewish Federation’s executive vice president, said they were aware of the incident and were working with police.

“I want to stress that we know of no other threat to the Jewish Community or to any of our agencies at this point it time,” he said in a statement posted on the organization’s website. “Nonetheless, I have directed that we maintain the additional level of security for the near future.“

It couldn’t be determined whether Reardon has an attorney.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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