New details reveal how investigators tracked down threats that closed Thomaston Walmart

Published: Oct. 2, 2019 at 10:22 AM EDT
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Court documents reveal new details about an online threat that closed a Walmart in Maine in August.

Jeremy Hugh Rogers, 25, is accused of posting threats against Walmart on Facebook.

The threat came just weeks after 22 people were killed during a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas on Aug. 3.

On Aug. 21, New York State Police received a report of two videos Rogers allegedly sent through the social network on Aug. 18, court documents said.

One video showed Rogers, wearing a black ski mask and holding an assault rifle with the words, "Man, I'm tired of this [expletive], I'm going to [expletive] Walmart." A second video showed Rogers holding a gun to his head, court documents said.

The messages were received on Aug. 18. Rogers had recently moved to Rockport, court documents said.

Out of an abundance of caution, police closed the Walmart in Thomaston due to the threats on Aug. 21. The store reopened without incident the next day.

Court documents said a week before, on Aug. 12, Rogers sent another Facebook user several messages, including a photo of a rifle with the words, "Wanna see my new Wal-Mart killer?"

On Aug. 18, Rogers allegedly sent a message with an image of what appears "to be a person's point of view if they were carrying an assault rifle into a Walmart store, with the text, 'Match begins in 2,'" according to court documents.

Later that day, Rogers sent a message, which included the video showing him wearing a mask and holding a rifle saying he was going to Walmart, court documents said.

With the help of surrounding police departments and the FBI, officers were able to track Rogers to a home in Rockport. When he left the home, he was taken into custody without incident.

As he was being arrested, Rogers said, "Is this because of the Facebook post I sent someone?"

Rogers told police he was staying with friends. Officers searched the home and found handguns, a shotgun and an AR-15 rifle. Authorities said these were the weapons shown in the threat online.

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According to court documents. "Rogers admitted that, about four days prior to his arrest, he had made the video of himself wearing the ski mask and stating that he was going to Walmart," court records said. "He stated that he intended that as a joke."

The owner of the home where Rogers was staying told investigators he did not give Rogers permission to use his firearms.

Rogers was charged with felon in possession of a firearm in federal court.

Rogers was previously sentenced in Connecticut to charges of criminal possession of a firearm. He served 13 months in prison, court documents said.

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