ST. LOUIS (AP) — A suburban St. Louis man accused of telling organizers of the city’s Pride parade that he would shoot and kill as many gays as possible at the LGBTQ celebration before turning the gun on himself has been charged with making a terrorist threat, according to court documents.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Edward Terry, 49, of Overland, was charged Tuesday.
Marty Zuniga, vice president of PrideFest, said the organization works “hard to produce an event that is safe for all participants.” The Pride parade in downtown St. Louis draws hundreds of thousands of people every year and is scheduled to take place June 30.
“PrideFest takes all threats seriously and works with local law enforcement,” he said in a statement. “We don’t comment on ongoing investigations.”
Court documents say Terry created a fake email account and sent a message to one of PrideSTL’s parade planners saying he would take his guns to PrideFest and “kill every gay person I can before I kill myself.”
The recipient notified the FBI, and police tracked the account to Terry’s cellphone, according to the court documents. He told police he used the name of a woman he used to live with to create the email account.
Bail for Terry, who also has a theft case pending in another St. Louis suburb, is set at $20,000, cash only. No attorney who can comment on his behalf is listed in online court records.
The St. Louis parade had already drawn attention this year. Organizers initially announced that they wouldn’t allow police to march in uniform because the event coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that fueled the global LGBTQ movement. Organizers announced Tuesday that they were dropping the prohibition.
The uproar at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s West Village, began on June 28, 1969, when bar patrons and area residents clashed with police officers who had come to raid the nightspot. New York’s police commissioner apologized this month for what his department did.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com