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Bremerton man arrested for making 'Aurora' threats
Bremerton resident Tracy Lee Wischhoefer, 26, was charged Monday in Kitsap County District Court with felony harassment after allegedly making threats on Facebook to kill people and citing the Aurora massacre in which 12 people were killed in a Colorado movie theater showing "The Dark Knight Rises."
The weekend threat from Wischhoefer is the second from a Bremerton man in less than a month. Both made death threats on Facebook while citing the Colorado shooting. Nicholas Adam Purcell, also 26, was arrested July 28 after making threats on the popular social networking site to "top the Aurora Massacre."
Bremerton police interviewed Wischhoefer Sunday at Anthony's restaurant where he works in downtown Bremerton, but made no arrest.
Kitsap County Sheriff's Office deputies, meanwhile, spoke to his father and went to his residence where they spotted weapons, body armor and ammunition in plain sight.
Deputies ultimately arrested him on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant and also booked him for felony harassment. The sheriff's office was originally brought into the case "on an agency assist" to the Bremerton Police Department.
Police were first notified about the threats, in which Wischhoefer threatened to go "Batman Movie Theater" on members of a band called "Corpse of a Rotting Hottie." The band was set to perform later that evening at the Charleston Theater.
"If you all try to hardcore dance me to death I will pop you a new (expletive) in the forehead with a Russian sniper rifle," Wischhofer allegedly wrote.
A Bremerton police officer interviewed Wischhoefer at about 1:15 p.m. Sunday, about an hour and 45 minutes after being notified of the threats by a band promoter. Officer Floyd May wrote in a report that Wischhoefer told him "several times that posting the threats was a stupid thing to do and that he was not thinking."
"He went on, saying he has no intentions of carrying out any attacks on the band or the Charleston Theater," May wrote in a police report. "Tracy told me he does not even own any guns. I asked Tracy about the photos of him with guns on his Facebook page. According to Tracy, the photos were taken when he went to Las Vegas."
Shortly after May left, though, he was informed by Kitsap County deputies that they could see a tube magazine fed semi-automatic .22 caliber rifle with an open chamber, olive green body armor and several bandoliers of ammunition in Wischhoefer's garage. Also spotted were suspected air soft rifles and a samurai sword.
"I passed this information on to my supervisors," May wrote. "This ended my involvement in the case."
In addition, according to a report by Deputy Lee Watson, "There were several black plastic boxes like those used for storing and protecting handguns. The garage appeared to be a type of man cave, with a pool table, sofas, a flat screen TV, punching bags, workout gear, knives, a Samurai sword, air soft guns and a dart board."
In his report, Deputy Watson also wrote that he and officer May spoke about the case a second time.
"Officer May called me later to inform me, his supervisors told him to write up his report and forward it to the prosecutor's office. I informed Officer May that was not acceptable and he agreed," Deputy Watson wrote.
At least two sergeants at the sheriff's office felt that the threats and harassment investigation warranted further action. Sheriff's office deputies eventually obtained a warrant for Wischhoefer's garage and residence where they recovered the rifle, body armor and bandoliers from the "man cave" and two Russian bolt action rifles and a computer from inside the home.
Deputies also returned to where Wischhoefer was working and placed him under arrest.
"Tracy said that he understood his rights and vented that he was already questioned by Bremerton police about the internet postings…" a deputy wrote in his report. "Tracy vented that when he posted the comments online it wasn't to scare anyone and he wasn't trying to threaten anyone but he was only venting. He elaborated that he didn't remember his exact posting but admitted to making some comments about the Batman movie killings. Tracy explained that he told the Bremerton police officer that he (Tracy) didn't have access to any guns that would be needed for mass killings and he had no intentions of doing anything. I asked about him having guns, and Tracy told me that he had two bolt action rifles but nothing else. When asked if he told the Bremerton officer about the rifles, Tracy said that he (BPD Officer) didn't ask about other guns, just the ones that he posted in the pictures, explaining that it was a friend's AK-47 and not his. Due to this Tracy told him (BPD) that he didn't have the guns in the pictures."
A felony harassment conviction can result in up to 5 years in prison