A student accused of shooting and wounding two women at a mall reportedly foreshadowed his intentions in an online message board, though police have not confirmed it.
Neil MacInnis, 18, was charged with two counts each of malicious wounding and using a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with Friday's shooting at New River Valley Mall in southwestern Virginia.
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Following the incident, multiple reports circulated suggesting that the alleged shooter, who is enrolled at New River Community College, preemptively announced his intentions on the Web. At approximately 1:52 p.m., an individual who identified himself as Neil MacInnis posted to a message board on 4chan.org.
The user wrote, according to Gawker:
My name is neil Macinnis and I go to new river community college in Christiansburg Virgina. 10 minutes away from Virginia tech. I'm gonna give y'all the details because the news never gets it right.
Stevens 320 shotgun.
Buck shots and slugs...
...I'm a bit nervous because I've never really handled a shotgun but a few times with the Christiansburg police.
At about 2:00 p.m., police responded to the crime scene.
According to WIRED:
About eight minutes after the initial posting, an anonymous poster on the 4chan message board typed: “Shots fired.” Another promptly replied: “I can’t believe this is f***ing real…wtf.” A little later on, somebody else wrote: “IT”S HPPAENINGIT”S HPPAENINGIT”S HPPAENNING.”
Authorities said they were investigating the Internet postings, but could not confirm if they were legitimate, according to the Associated Press.
Police acknowledge that MacInnis completed the Christiansburg Citizen Police Academy training, according to a USA Today report about the 4Chan post.
MacInnis is being held without bail at the Montgomery County Jail.