(UPDATED -- See below)
A man from Bolivar, Missouri, Blaec James Lammers, 20, was caught planning a mass shooting at the local Walmart store, using two assault rifles and ammunition acquired, in part, from within the store.
He had purchased his weapons and ammo from Walmart.
Luckily, Lammers' mother became suspicious and tipped off the police.
Lammers was able to purchase two assault weapons and 400 rounds of ammo legally, despite the fact that he had a prior incident of making threats, had been involuntarily committed due to his mental health back in 2009, and was currently supposed to be taking medication for a serious mental illness.
From an article:
According to a probable cause statement by Det. Dusty Ross of the Bolivar Police Department, Blaec James Lammers, 20, initially planned on attending a showing of the "Twilight" movie at B&B Theatre in Bolivar and shooting people at it.
He had planned on doing it at a showing tonight (Friday, Nov. 16), Ross said in a phone interview.
"Blaec Lammers stated that he had purchased tickets to go see the 'Twilight' movie ... and he was going to shoot people at the movie theatre on that night," the statement said.
"He then got to thinking about it and realized that he might run out of ammunition, so he decided that he would go and shoot people at Walmart in Bolivar. ... He would walk into the store and just start shooting people at random and if he ran out of ammunition (he said he purchased 400 rounds), he would just break the glass where the ammunition is being stored and get some more and keep on shooting until the police arrived," the statement said.
"He got the idea, he purchased the guns, purchased the ammo, went out and practiced using the gun, got his venue, got tickets to the venue, then thought 'Well, maybe if I run out of ammo, I need to pick a different venue.'
Lammers allegedly planned something similar in 2009.
"Lammers had previously stated that he wanted to stab a Walmart employee to death and went to Walmart and followed an employee around the store before he was contacted by officers," the statement said.
In an interview with Ross, Lammers allegedly said he had a lot in common with individuals involved in recent shootings in the news.
"Lammers stated that he was quiet, kind of a loner, had recently purchased firearms and didn't tell anybody about it and had homicidal thoughts," the statement said.
The suspect was familiar with several high profile shootings, Ross said, discussing shootings at Virginia Tech, Arizona, Columbine, Colo., and Aurora.
Lammers acquired one assault-type gun on Monday, Nov. 12, and another on Tuesday, Nov. 13. Ross said he purchased both guns, a .223 and .22 similar in appearance to the AR-15s used in the Aurora shooting, from Walmart. He is held in the Polk County Jail on a $500,000 bond.(information on the suspect's Facebook page)
UPDATE (11/21/12): New details about Lammers' 2009 mental health involuntary commitment. Lammers, then age 17, had almost carried out another murder at a Walmart using a knife and rubber mask. According to an article:
Blaec Lammers told investigators in Oct. 2009, he went to the Walmart in Bolivar, Mo., looking for an "easy victim" after watching the horror film "Halloween," saying that watching the main character killing people "got him to thinking," the arrest report said.
Lammers, then 17, told authorities he watched the clerk for more than two hours. He said he was planning to follow the clerk into a storage room and kill him. Lammers' plan fell apart when his mother located a suicide note and noticed a kitchen knife was missing. She called the authorities, who located Lammers' car in the Walmart parking lot.
No charges were filed in that case. Instead, Lammers was committed for 96 hours for a mental health examination, Polk County prosecutor Ken Ashlock said Tuesday.
Walmart. Save money. Die faster.
UPDATE (12/27/12): According to another article, the parents of Blaec Lammers, say they've tried, and failed, to get their son appropriate mental health treatment in the past:
The couple has tried repeatedly to get help for their son, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and an anti-social personality disorder. They recalled waiting for hours as hospital staffers called institutions around the state, trying to find one that had an open bed for their son.
They’ve spent as much as $30,000 on repeated hospitalizations and medications. There is still a balance of about $9,300 from their son’s last stay at Lakeland Behavioral Health System, a psychiatric hospital for children in Springfield.
They said the mental health system had failed them and their son.UPDATE (4/6/13): A judge ruled that Lammers' plan constituted a threat. From an article:
Despite objections the state did not prove the defendant communicated a threat, Associate Circuit Judge John C. Porter found probable cause that Blaec James Lammers, 20, of Bolivar committed a felony in his alleged plans to open fire at Bolivar Walmart in November. ...
The next day, Wednesday, Nov. 14, she picked up Lammers’ clothes to do his laundry — he lived with her at her residence on East 473rd Road — and she found a Walmart receipt dated Nov. 13 for a gun in the pocket of his pants, P. Lammers said. She could not recall what she read on the receipt to make her believe it was for a gun, but the purchase was for $865 and had been paid in cash.
“I briefly spoke with him that Wednesday afternoon,” P. Lammers said. “He said ‘Yes, I bought them [the guns] several weeks ago.’ ... That was not true.
“I have learned to walk on eggshells, sometimes, around my son. I didn’t want him to get angry with me. I was concerned for my safety as well as my son’s,” P. Lammers said. “I was afraid my son could come back and hurt me or I was afraid he could hurt himself, take his life. I had no idea what my son might do.” ...
Jeff Murray, a Walmart employee, testified that he sold Lammers a Windham Weaponry AR-15 and some ammunition on Nov. 13. The rifle is semi-automatic, Murray said, and is commonly called an “assault weapon.” Lammers completed the background paperwork in his presence and Murray said he submitted it to the FBI.UPDATE (6/6/13): Read more about how Lammers was able to be armed despite years of going in and out of mental facilities and concern from his parents, HERE.
UPDATE (3/24/14): Lammers has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.