Jonathan Sapirman, the 20-year-old gunman who opened fire in a suburban mall near Indianapolis on Sunday, apparently posted a message to 4chan with an ominous message hours before , VICE News reports.
Sapirman killed three people and wounded two others before he was shot and killed by a bystander who was carrying his own weapon. In his 4chan post, he declared that "today seems like a good day to die" and included an image of a wedding being carried out in Nazi Germany. He also shared an image to the Imgur, that included several images of himself wearing a white button-down shirt, blue jeans, a face-covering, and posing with two AR-15-style rifles, a handgun, and multiple magazines.
"Police have not yet identified any clear motive in the attack. At a press conference Monday, they said the shooter had left his laptop in a heated oven, alongside a can of butane, and submerged his cellphone in the toilet," VICE News reports. "Police did not speculate on the reasons the shooter did this but said investigators were trying to acquire as much information from the damaged devices as they could. The FBI took the damaged laptop to their lab in Quantico for further analysis. Police told VICE News that they were familiar with the comments and images purportedly posted by the gunman prior to the attack."
As VICE News points out, 4chan has been the preferred platform for numerous ideologically motivated mass killers, including the Buffalo supermarket mass shooter and the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque attacker.
“This means that there is a large aesthetic appeal for using 4chan or a similar chan site to announce an attack,” radicalization researcher Blyth Crawford told VICE News. “By aligning themselves with this mass shooter subculture and emulating past shooters who have announced their attacks on chan sites, they are effectively positioning themselves to potentially become regarded as ‘saints’ online as well, providing them with personal glory within a community that might be very important to them, and also acting as a new aspirational figure that can be used to radicalize others."
Read the full report over at VICE News.