Authorities arrested a Washington man on Tuesday after he allegedly threatened to blow up an elementary school. 

Thomas Gabbard, 19, had previously gone on Instagram Live, where he claimed to be a gang member. However, a viewer on the stream insisted that Gabbard was not, to which the suspect responded he was “going to pull up and bomb a school,” police said. No school or location was specified during the stream.

Gabbard, however, proceeded to claim he had bombs in his possession. 

The viewer became concerned and called the local police regarding Gabbard’s threats. 

The viewer also told police Gabbard called him using the phone number on the viewer’s account. He told police the call lasted approximately two minutes, during which time he tried to get information from Gabbard on the unnamed school he had previously referenced. 

The Instagram user added that Gabbard did not provide any info on the school and continued calling the viewer “racially derogatory names.” The viewer also notified police that Gabbard had several active Facebook and Instagram profiles. 

Police reports indicated that a search into Gabbard’s criminal history showed he had a juvenile conviction that prohibited him from legally possessing firearms. 

Police said they found three specific photos on Gabbard’s various social media profiles in which the suspect was shown holding firearms — two pistols and a rifle. 

Several officers and armed personnel arrived at Gabbard’s home serving a high-risk search warrant, and a SWAT team arrested Gabbard without incident. No explosives or firearms were located at the scene. 

During an interview with police, Gabbard said he was not serious about bombing a school. He also denied having any firearms or explosives in his possession and insisted that the firearms shown in his social media posts were air powered. 

Mason County sheriff's car
Authorities arrested Thomas Gabbard on Tuesday after he allegedly threatened to blow up an elementary school. 
Facebook/Mason County Sheriff

He later admitted that the rifle shown in his post was taken at his sister’s home when he knew he was not allowed to possess a firearm per his conviction.  

Gabbard also admitted his claim of being a gang member was untrue. 

The arrest came just a few weeks after gunman Salvador Ramos shot and killed 21 individuals at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. 


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