Ahead of Joe Biden’s visit to Utah state, FBI agents shot dead a man who allegedly announced an assassination attempt on the president. The suspect was a frail 74-year-old man who walked with a cane.
Joe Biden flew to Utah on Wednesday evening. He plans to visit the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday to discuss the PACT Act, which expands benefits for veterans. He also plans to hold a fundraiser for his 2024 re-election campaign.
Angry posts on social media
On Monday, the suspect wrote online that he heard Biden was coming to Utah. Now he wants to start “quenching” his M24 sniper rifle. Following this “threat of assault,” special agents tried to serve an arrest and search warrant on the man from Provo, south of Salt Lake City, on Wednesday morning. Federal police said shots were fired.
According to court documents, this was not the man’s first alleged threat against President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and other state officials. In September 2022, he reportedly wrote in a Facebook post: “The time has come for one or two assassination attempts on the President. First Jo, then Kamla!!!” Attorney General Merrick Garland and two New York prosecutors are said to have been threatened in this way.
The man is said to have referred to himself as “MAGA Trumper”, referring to former US President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again”. It is also said that he posted “threats” against senior law enforcement officials overseeing the trials against Trump.
Neighbors described how dangerous the man really was: They described the man as a frail old man walking with the help of a hand-carved stick. They didn’t see him as a threat, even though he regularly carried a weapon (which, mind you, is not prohibited there either). According to his online profile, he was 74 years old.
His postings on social networks are now costing him dearly. Nothing is known about the exact circumstances, the investigation of the incident is ongoing. So why did the FBI see an old man as such a great threat, one that could only be stopped with gunfire, remains an open question.