A former Ohio police officer was arrested on Monday by Haines City police after admitting he wrote social media posts threatening to carry out violence in the nation’s capital, according to the police chief.
What You Need To Know
- Shannon Badgett, 53, is accused of making violent threats
- Haines City Police say he threatened a mass shooting in Washington, D.C.
- Badgett is a former police officer from Ohio
“He talked about a lot of bloodshed – that he was going to take care of business up there,” Chief Jim Elensky said.
Shannon Badgett, 53, has been charged with communicating a written threat to conduct a mass shooting or act of terrorism. Police said one of Badgett’s Facebook friends reported the online threats.
According to Haines City Police, Badgett’s post included a reference to the ongoing election controversies.
“…Our courts are unable to articulate their choice by refusing to hear any evidence regarding voter fraud,” he allegedly wrote.
Badgett is accused of writing posts about going to a “target rich environment” in Washington, D.C. if President Donald Trump did not declare martial law. One post ended with “Pew. Pew. Pew” to insinuate the firing of gunshots.
In another post, Badgett allegedly wrote that a lot of good people were going to die if “Roberts” did not resign – a possible reference to Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. In that post, police say Badgett claimed to be building an anti-tank rifle and sub-machine guns without applying for permits. Badgett wrote that the government can’t tell him what to do, according to Haines City Police.
Chief Elensky said he’s even more concerned because Badgett had more than a decade of experience as a police officer in Ohio, and the Haines City man’s family told investigators that he was more than capable of carrying out the threats.
“They were very concerned because they felt he had the know-how, and he definitely had the will to do it,” the chief said.
“Police officers have the background, they have the knowledge of how we operate and … that threw up a red flag for sure.”
Shannon Badgett, 53 (Haines City Police Department)
Badgett’s family told investigators that he has been diagnosed with mental health disorders. Police said they did not find any weapons at Badgett’s home, and he denied being serious about the threats.
“He said, ‘oh, I’m not serious.’ Something to the effect of ‘I’m really not going to do that,'” Chief Elensky said.
“He was sarcastic enough and condescending enough that if we didn’t do anything, ‘watch what I’m going to do.'”
Police said they found out about the threats from FBI agents who were in Haines City investigating a threatening email Badgett allegedly sent to a Nevada judge.
Badgett is being held in the Polk County Jail on a 72-hour Baker Act hold but could be released on bond for the third degree felony before inauguration day.
“That’s very concerning to me,” Chief Elensky revealed. “But I can say to you that we’ve done our job.”