A self-described “former incel” named Michael Pengchung Lee was allegedly planning a mass shooting at the University of Arizona before he was arrested, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. He is charged with “transmit[ing] in interstate commerce a communication of a threat to injure the person of another.”
On Sunday, Lee, who is 27, posted several threatening statements to a Snapchat group using the name “asianluluu,” according to the complaint. “Theres going to be a mass tragedy and atrocity at the UofA Soon,” he allegedly wrote to his friends, adding that he meant a “mass shooting.” When someone asked how he’d do it, he allegedly wrote, “with an AR-15,” adding “it’s Arizona you can just buy one.” The complaint claims he said he intended to buy it the day before his planned massacre “so my mom doesn’t find it.” He reportedly told the group that he hadn’t decided yet when he would carry out the mass murder.
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“They day of Retribution is upon us,” he wrote, according to the complaint, “I shall get revenge on all the chads and stacies!!” (“Chads,” according to the Anti-Defamation League, is an incel term for attractive, datable men, while “Stacys” are the women incels desire — but they want only Chads.) “Day or Retribution,” the complaint says, refers to the day Elliot Rodger, a self-described incel, murdered six people and injured 13 near the UC-Santa Barbara campus before killing himself. The filing claims Lee contemplated carrying out his massacre on May 23rd, which he said would be the 10th anniversary of Rodger’s attack.
Lee allegedly used “Stacy” again when he saw women in the group chat screenshotting his messages. “Fuck you stacies,” he reportedly wrote, “I was gonna give u a warning but now im not.”
The complaint says he told the group, “I’m not normal, I never have been, I’m severely autistic and mentally ill and was ever accepted by society, I have no place in the world.” He reportedly told the group: “im gonna do it guys, my mind is made up and there’s nothing u can do or say to stop me.”
The complaint says police clocked Lee’s license plate near the University of Arizona’s Greek Row many times between Oct. 11 and 21. Authorities stopped Lee for speeding on Monday, when they also arrested him for his alleged threats. “Lee admitted to being the author of the snapchat threats,” the report claims. “Lee stated he was frustrated with his home life and decided to ‘vent’ to the group chat with his friends. He stated he was a former member of the incel community but was no longer. He attempted to purchase a firearm two months ago but decided against it. Lee admitted he was aware the threats to commit a mass shooting were wrong and concerning.”
The Pima County Justice Court said Lee was waiting for the appointment of a public defender to his case. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 3, while the county attorney decides whether he would be grand-jury indicted or if his case would be dismissed.
The criminal complaint says Lee was previously arrested for possessing controlled substances and a firearm. Those charges are still pending.
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