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Press Release

St. Petersburg Man Charged With Making Threats Of A Mass Shooting

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida –United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the unsealing of a criminal complaint charging Robert Trout III (19, St. Petersburg) with knowingly transmitting in interstate commerce a true threat. If convicted, Trout faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. 

According to the complaint, Trout posted a video on Instagram making threats to go to New York City and “cause havoc on the subway” by shooting “anybody” that Trout sees. Trout further threatened that this shooting would occur on the evening of Thanksgiving, November 23, 2023, and stated “if you’re from New York City, do not take the train on Thursday evening.” While making these threats, Trout displayed multiple firearms, including two semi-automatic firearms with extended clips containing a total of 60 bullets while stating “that’s sixty shots - that’s sixty people dead.” Several recent postings on Trout’s Instagram account in conjunction with witness statements allowed law enforcement to identify Trout as the person responsible for making the threats.

Trout made his initial appearance in federal court, in Tampa, Florida on December 7, 2023, and was ordered detained pending further proceedings.

A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty. 

This case was investigated by the Pinellas Park Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brooke Padgett.

Updated December 8, 2023

Violent Crime