By Riley Hansen
On September 22, mass shooting threats were made against the University of West Florida. These threats were made in a chat for the video game Valorant, and the user’s account was traced back to 23-year-old Shane Rei Davis, who attended UWF.
Davis was arrested on felony charges, specifically for violating Florida Statute 836.10.1, which says, “any person who makes, posts, or transmits a threat in a writing or other record, including an electronic record, to conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism, in any manner that would allow another person to view the threat, commits a felony of the second degree.”
While Davis was arrested on September 24, he was working in the week leading up to the events.
His boss at a nearby grocery store describes Davis as, “one of our best,” saying he was always on time and great with customers, all of which made news of the arrest surprising to the manager.
The Public Information Officer for the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office, Sgt. Rich Aloy, is
quoted as saying the threats were specific and taken very seriously by law enforcement.
The FBI, in conjunction with the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office, notified UWF of the threats.
University News sent an email out on September 25, the day after Davis’ arrest, assuring students that action was taken, though it is not specified what that action was exactly. It is also unclear how authorities found out about the threats.
According to WEAR, law enforcement acted on a “confidential” tip. The threats were made in a game chat—Valorant’s website describes the game as “More than guns and bullets, you’ll choose an Agent armed with adaptive, swift, and lethal abilities that create opportunities to let your gunplay shine. Creativity is your greatest weapon.” This description is almost eerie when juxtaposed with the actual comments made in the chat, including details about how many people the user would kill, how unprepared past shooters have been, and, most specific of all, “Surprising Asian Americans are always the top of school shooters, right?”
According to the arrest report, Davis allegedly admitted to making these threats. As of October 2, 2020, however, Shane Davis remains in custody and has plead “Not Guilty” to the crime. He is being held on a $1,000,000 bond.