Tampa Man Arrested After Threatening to Shoot Gay People

Ralph Perkins – Image via Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

Ralph Perkins, a middle-aged man from Florida was recently arrested after he made a written threat to shoot and kill the gay population of Tampa, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Perkins asked an unidentified person on Grindr to move in with him, and when that person rejected the offer, he (Perkins) became apoplectic and wrote: “I like to take a gun I like to wipe the whole gay community out in Tampa and then kill myself,” saying that this will be the “ultimate present” to Tampa.

Eddy Durkin, spokesperson for The Tampa PD said that Perkins did not have “immediate access to firearms and no weapons were confiscated during the arrest” but were unsure of what would have happened if he hadn’t been arrested. The police were right to take those threats seriously, as there is a great deal of violence that occurs within the United States and even though he didn’t have access to guns at the moment, who’s to say that he didn’t have them elsewhere?

This was not Perkin’s first arrest, however. In 2004 he was arrested in Alabama and had to register as a sex offender and has since been arrested multiple times for failing to properly register and giving false information to law enforcement officials. Additionally, a witness has said that Perkins is depressed because he has stomach cancer, which, I presume is partially why he wrote those threats. That doesn’t excuse what he did, though. 

It’s frightening to think that people would threaten to commit a mass shooting, but it does unfortunately happen. It’s not too farfetched to think that given the opportunity, Perkins would have carried out what he threatened to do. It’s good that he was arrested before we could find out if he was truly capable of doing something so horrible.

Source: Tampa Bay Times

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