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Press Release

Venice Man Charged With Threatening To Commit A Mass Casualty Event And Unlawful Possession Of A Silencer

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

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Alexander Lightner (26, Venice, FL) with interstate transmission of a threat to injure and unlawful possession of a silencer. If convicted on all counts, Lightner faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. 

According to court filings, on December 29, 2023, Lightner made the following threats on an internet messaging platform indicating his intention to carry out a mass shooting: “2024 there shall be saints u fuq”; “Highscore shall be defeated”; “I’ll delete this, but I say to you there is no surrender only death. Only purpose”; “When my @ says last seen a week ago remove me from everything.”; “It’s called a .308 black tip.”; and “Those that know me know. It’s over, you have not seen the wrath of the Aryan that has no purpose left.” In the racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist (“RMVE”) community, a “saint” is an individual who commits an act of mass violence in furtherance of RMVE ideology, and the term “high score” refers to the death toll amassed by an attacker, or saint, who commits an act of mass violence.

Federal law enforcement subsequently executed a search warrant at Lightner’s residence. During the search, agents recovered an unregistered firearm silencer, ammunition, and multiple firearms from Lightner’s bedroom. 

An indictment 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, with valuable assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Sarasota Police Department, and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lindsey Schmidt. 

Updated January 18, 2024