A California man used Instagram to ‘harass and intimidate’ the families of students killed in the Parkland school shooting last year, according to a 12 report filed Friday.
Brandon Fleury is due in a Fort Lauderdale court Monday, accused of posing as the real shooter Nikolas Cruz, who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on February 14, 2018.
The criminal complaint says Fleury began the taunts December 22 using different accounts which were traced to an IP address in Santa Ana, where he lives with his father and brother.
A California man used Instagram to ‘harass and intimidate’ the families of those killed in the Parkland school shooting last year, by impersonating Nikolas Cruz (pictured January 16)
The family and best friend of victim Jaime Guttenberg, 14, were some of those he used to ‘gain popularity’. He is believed to have tried to contact father, Fred Guttenberg, an anti-gun-violence activist with approximately 152k Twitter followers, but mentioned the wrong handle
Jaime’s brother Jesse Guttenberg received messages from @nikolas.killed.your.sister
@nik.taunts_ wrote about the weapon Cruz used, ‘I stole your sister’s future, buddy, with the power of my AR-15’
On Christmas Eve, @bullseyetauntsyou._ wrote: ‘You’ll never see Jaime again, little orphan. Nikolas took her from you’
Special Agent Cameron McDowell wrote that Fleury showed no remorse when questioned January 16 and admitted to fascination with the tragic event leading to his decision to ‘troll’ those affected.
From an account with the handle @nikolas.killed.your.sister, he targeted loved ones of victims with messages such as ‘I killed your loved ones hahaha’, ‘Your grief is my joy’, and ‘They had their whole lives ahead of them and I . . . stole it from them’.
Investigators said he ‘admitted to targeting family members who were “activists” who had a large social media presence,’ in his vulgar messages sent over a several weeks.
The family and best friend of victim Jaime Guttenberg, 14, were some of those he used to ‘gain popularity’.
Fleury is said to have used Instagram’s tagging feature to mention the handles of the victim’s brother and friend to alert them of his sick comments.
Father of victim Alex Schachter (right), school safety advocate Max Schachter (left), was also targeted by the troll
Schachter who had expressed interest in running for governor in December, received messages too
From @nikolasthemurderer on New Year’s Eve, Schachter was targeted with cruel words about how his son ‘will never play music again’
‘I took a s**t on your sister’s grave,’ a message to Guttenberg’s brother written alongside the crying of laughter emoji, applause emoji and three poop emoji, allegedly read.
The affidavit also claims the suspect wrote: ‘Did you like my Valentines gift? I killed your friends’ about the February shooting, and tagged the victim’s best friend. .’
Two days after the Broward County Sheriff’s Office received complaints and launched an investigation, on Christmas Eve the person, believed to be Fleury wrote on social media: ‘You’ll never see Jaime again, little orphan. Nikolas took her from you.’
It came from an account with the handle @bullseyetauntsyou._.
The @angie.and.lola account posted: ‘How’s Jamie, hun? Dead huh?’ and @nik.taunts_ wrote about the weapon Cruz used, ‘I stole your sister’s future, buddy, with the power of my AR-15.’
He is believed to have tried to contact Jaime’s father, Fred Guttenberg, an anti-gun-violence activist who has approximately 152,000 Twitter followers, but mentioned the wrong handle.
Fleury wasn’t just accused of pretending to be Cruz, now 20, who faces the death penalty if convicted. A trial date has not yet been set but he is due for another hearing in February.
The affidavit states that the troll claimed to have murdered teacher Scott Beigel last February
On Christmas Day Fleury took on the persona of Ted Bundy, claiming to have killed Janice Ott and Denise Naslund in 1974 from the @teddykillspeople account where he wrote: ‘I’m your abductor. I’m kidnapping you fool.’
The father of victim Alex Schachter, Max Schachter, was also targeted. The school safety advocate who had expressed interest in running for governor in December, received a message from @nikolasthemurderer on New Year’s Eve about how his son ‘will never play music again’.
The affidavit, identifying those targeted by their initials, states that the troll claimed to have murdered teacher Scott Beigel last February.
A January 11 message from @the.douglas.shooter read: ‘With the power of my AR-15, I take your loved ones away from you PERMANENTLY. Hahaha! I’m the Douglas shooter! SCREAM!!’
It was enough to be deemed a threat and local law enforcement teamed up with the FBI to trace the @the.douglas.shooter, @teddykillspeople, @nikolas.killed.your.sister, @angie.and.lola and @nik.taunts_ accounts back to an IP address in connection with WiFi registered in Fleury’s father’s name.
‘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 police report reads.
On Christmas Day Fleury took on the persona of killer Theodore ‘Ted’ Bundy
from the @teddykillspeople account he wrote: ‘I’m your abductor. I’m kidnapping you fool’
Fleury claimed to have killed Denise Naslund (left) and Janice Ott (right) in 1974
When he was tracked down on January 16, he showed no remorse and claimed he was taunting but not threatening the Parkland victim’s loved ones.
The affidavit states: ‘Fleury made spontaneous statements to the effect that the agents were there because of ‘some stupid s..t’ he had done on the internet.’
He made the comments to his father, Patrick Fleury, who reportedly declined to tell the SunSentinel whether his son – charged with transmitting in interstate commerce a communication containing a threat to kidnap a person – had a lawyer.
He’s also charged for using an interactive computer service with intent to harass and intimidate another person.
‘Sorry, better luck next time,’ the publication quotes him as responding. ‘Bunch of nonsense.’
FBI Special Agent McDowell wrote in the document that the accused replied, ‘I guess so’ when asked if his words on January 11 sounded like threats.
Fleury could ace as little as a fine for each charge or up to five years in prison for them respectively.