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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Man Allegedly Makes Phone Threats to Pride Parade; Investigators Track and Link Him to Unsolved Bank Robberies

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – July 17, 2019

SAN DIEGO – A man who allegedly threatened to “kill all the gays and children” at the San Diego Pride parade was charged today with three bank robberies after San Diego Police detectives and FBI agents linked him to both the threats and the robberies dating back to 2016.

According to a federal complaint, Andre Lafayette Holmes robbed US Bank on Campo Road in Spring Valley on November 4, 2016; Mission Federal Credit Union in San Diego on June 14, 2018, and California Bank and Trust on Fifth Avenue, also in San Diego, on June 28, 2019. In the first crime he claimed to have a gun; in the second and third robberies he pointed a pistol at tellers, the complaint said.

FBI agents identified Holmes as the armed bank robber in three unsolved cases following threats he made to the San Diego Pride Parade organizers on July 10, 2019. In the first of two late-morning phone calls to pride organizers’ main line, a caller stated: “I think I’m going to have to kill all the gays and the children.” He then repeated, “I’m going to have to kill the f------ and children.” The employee asked, “Sir, what’s your name?” The caller replied: “I don’t like them” and “I hate the f------.” He then hung up. About four minutes later, he called back. “F--- Donald Trump. I hate Hillary. I hate f---. I’m going to shoot up the Pride event.” The male caller repeated the same statement approximately four times.

On July 11, San Diego Police Department investigators identified the phone number as belonging to Holmes. They determined that Holmes drives a 2009 Toyota minivan registered in his name. They located Holmes near Miramar College and conducted a traffic stop. He was in possession of the phone from which the threats were made, the complaint said.

During subsequent searches of Holmes residence and vehicle, investigators discovered evidence of the armed bank robberies, including a gray semi-automatic pistol, a rubber “old man” style mask, a large bag of cash and clothing believed worn by the bank robber, among other things. They also found a Big Gulp 7-Eleven mug consistent with the one used during two of the robberies.

In the first robbery, the complaint alleges that Holmes used a demand note which said: “We have guns! I will personally shoot anyone you alert! Don’t make me jump over the counter and kill innocent people. Big bills only and I’ll calmly leave. Money now!!!!” On the back of the note, it said: “I’m sorry, good man on hard times. Sincerely, Bank Robber.”

In the second robbery at Mission Federal Credit Union, Holmes pulled a semi-automatic pistol from his pocket and pointed it at a teller and demanded money, the complaint said. He then proceeded to demand money from a second teller. In the third robbery, Holmes again had a light-colored semiautomatic pistol and verbally demanded money.

Authorities are presently evaluating further charges for Holmes’ threats to the San Diego Pride Parade.

DEFENDANT                                                Case Number 19mj2977                                          

Andre Lafayette Holmes                                Age: 31                                   San Diego, California

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

Bank Robbery – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2113(a)

Maximum penalty: 20 years

Armed Bank Robbery – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 2113(a) & (d)

Maximum penalty: 25 years

Brandishing a Firearm in Commission of Crime of Violence – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 924(c)

Maximum penalty: Life in prison;

Consecutive Mandatory Minimum: 7 years

AGENCY

Federal Bureau of Investigation

San Diego Police Department

*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Assistant U. S. Attorney Mario J. Peia (619) 546-9706
Press Release Number: 
CAS19-0717-Holmes
Updated July 17, 2019