Warrant: Man charged with firing pellet guns inside Cary store researched mass shootings – WRAL.com

Warrant: Man charged with firing pellet guns inside Cary store researched mass shootings - WRAL.com

Teen planned pellet-gun attack on Cary bookstore, researched mass shootings, police say

Cary, N.C. — The man charged with opening fire with two air rifles inside a Cary Barnes & Noble store last month researched mass shootings prior to the incident, according to a search warrant.

Jonathan Kyle Courtney, 18, walked into the store on Maynard Road on March 22 and began shooting two pellet guns without speaking. Two people were wounded as a result.

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According to a warrant, Courtney said he began planning the shooting on March 19 and had attempted to build an improvised explosive device inside his Cary home.

Authorities said Courtney was found carrying a nonfunctioning IED when he was arrested behind the Barnes & Noble following the incident.

Courtney also told authorities that he had read multiple articles about mass shootings around the world while planning the attack, the warrant said.

Patrons who called 911 from inside the store believed they were reporting a mass shooting, with many fleeing for cover and hiding under nearby tables.

The search warrant shows that authorities seized several other BB guns and air rifles from Courtneys home following the shooting.

Courtney was charged with four counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, three counts of malicious assault in secret, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count each of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, discharging a barreled weapon into an occupied business and possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

Police say the 18-year-old accused of attacking a bookstore last month told them he planned it in three days, according to court documents released Tuesday.

Jonathan Kyle Courtney carried out the March 22 attack on the Barnes & Noble with an air pistol and an air rifle, police say. When they arrested Courtney, they say he was carrying what they believed to be an operable improvised explosive device. The homemade bomb was later determined to be inoperable, police say.

Courtney told police he began shooting at people in the parking lot before entering the bookstore on Southeast Maynard Road, the report says. Two people inside the bookstore struck by pellets were taken to the hospital for medical treatment, police say.

The attack happened shortly after 7 p.m. when the store was filled with shoppers. Emergency phone calls to 911 described the panic and chaos they felt when the shooting started.

Courtney told investigators he fired the Sig air rifle until it ran out of ammunition, the report says. He then ran out of the building and was apprehended a short time later, police say. He was carrying an air pistol and an IED, according to the report.

Courtney was taken to the Cary Police Department to be interviewed, the report says. Police say Courtney was read his Miranda Rights, which they say he waived, before providing them with his account of the attack.

Police say Courtney told them his plot began March 19 and that he had read multiple articles on the internet about mass shootings across the world. He also provided them with details of how he tried to build the IED he carried with him to the bookstore three days later.

Police searched the residence Courtney shared with his mother and grandfather the next day, the report says. They were looking for additional air-powered weapons, materials that could be used to construct IEDs and notes related to murder, mass killings and bomb making, the report says.

Police seized multiple air guns, air gun accessories, 27 CO2 cartridges, an Xbox game system, a computer, three notebooks, a partially used roll of black duct tape and four empty bottles of Bod fragrance spray, the report says.

Courtney was charged with discharging a barreled weapon into an occupied dwelling and with assault with a deadly weapon, police say.

Courtney is being held in the Wake County jail under $560,000 secured bail, according to arrest records.


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