Man Threatened To Shoot Up Gun Control Rally: Prosecutor

TOMS RIVER, NJ — A Lakewood man is facing a charge of terrorist threats after he allegedly threatened to shoot up the March For Our Lives rally with a machine gun, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said Monday.

Shane Steele, 42, of Lakewood, allegedly made the threat in a Facebook post on Feb. 19, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the prosecutor's office. The threat came five days after 17 students and staff were killed and 14 others injured in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The massacre sparked immediate calls by the student survivors at the high school for marches and rallies to demand action from legislators and Congress to enact tougher gun laws.

Al Della Fave, spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said Steele posted on Facebook "venting against the entire idea of the rallies," but then quickly deleted the post.

However, in the short amount of time it was posted, someone took a screenshot of the post and forwarded it to the Manalapan Police Department, Della Fave said.

Manalapan police investigated, and determined Steele lived in Lakewood at the time of the posting, Della Fave said. Steele was arrested Friday by Detective Raymond Coles of the High Tech Crime Unit of the prosecutor's office, and his home was extensively searched but no firearms were found, Della Fave said.

Steele was released on a summons, Della Fave said.

"The lesson here is to take a deep breath before posting something on social media," Della Fave said.

The March For Our Lives rally is set for Saturday, March 24, in Washington and is expected to draw students from around the United States to Washington. The national event also has sparked dozens of local marches and rallies, including at least three in New Jersey, in Freehold, Asbury Park and Morristown.

Della Fave said the investigation included the Lakewood, Toms River, Manalapan and South Brunswick police departments, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Major Crime Unit and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.

Deerfield Beach high school students arrive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 23 after walking the 11 miles from school to school in support of the 17 students and staff shot to death on Feb. 14 at the Parkland, Florida, high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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