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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Colorado Man Accused of Threatening Mass Shootings at FBI, DHS; Used FBI’s Online Tip Form

Staebell allegedly "stated the government is full of pedophiles" and also threatened to "kill everybody" at a performing arts facility.

A Colorado man accused of threatening to conduct mass shootings at the FBI’s Denver office and Department of Homeland Security offices declared on his Twitter account the day before his arrest that “the USA government is run by a bunch of pedos” and used the FBI’s online tip portal to warn that he would try to “kill as many” people there “as possible.”

Kyle Staebell, 33, of Evergreen, Colo., was arrested Monday and charged with 18 U.S.C. § 875(c), transmitting interstate threats. In addition to utilizing the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center to warn about himself, the criminal complaint alleges that he sent an email to an unnamed performing arts center in Colorado that stated, “Hello, tomorrow I am going to do a mass shooting and kill fucking everybody I see in the whole building.”

An image of the email in the complaint shows an email signature with Staebell’s full name, listing his title as “communications consultant,” with a redacted phone number and address, and a link to a LinkedIn page. That page posted five days ago, “I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new position as Bum at Unemployment!!”

According to the FBI, a person believed to be Staebell was seen on surveillance footage appearing “to circumvent security and enter restricted parts of the building, including backstage” at the performing arts group’s building in mid-December. Staebell allegedly told agents he was there because “he wanted to conduct an orchestra with a Harry Potter wand that he claimed he had found” and added “that orchestra conductors use witchcraft wands to conduct orchestras.”

In the early hours of Monday morning, the FBI’s NTOC online tip line received a submission under Staebell’s name stating that the next day “I am going to walk up to the FBI offices and start shooting everyone I see and will throw explosives.” 

The threats against DHS are in a screenshot of tweets made early Monday, according to the affidavit. Some of those tweets no longer appear on the still-live Twitter account attributed to Staebell, including the tweet “How to do a mass shooting at the DHS offices? How to do a mass shooting at the FBI offices?” as well as one declaring, “TOMORROW I WILL DO AL [sic] MASS SHOOTING AT THE FBI AND DHS OFFICES.”

Before search warrants could be executed Monday, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office responded to Staebell’s residence after his mother reported that during an argument with his brother Staebell “threw a mug on the ground and threw dirt at his brother.” Staebell met deputies “holding a laptop, a cellphone, his passport, and a jacket,” and stated that his girlfriend worked for Mexico intelligence and hacked his accounts and social media, officials said.

According to the affidavit, a search of the home revealed “what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail” and a handwritten note listing DHS, FBI, and an apparent reference to the performing arts group. When questioned by law enforcement, Staebell allegedly said he “is upset at the government because the government had not responded to previous reports that he filed” and “stated the government is full of pedophiles.”

Staebell made his initial appearance in federal court today.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office takes very seriously any threat to commit mass violence,” United States Attorney Cole Finegan said in a statement. “We commend our law enforcement partners for taking swift action to investigate this case.”

Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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