Feds nab right-wing suspect who sympathized with Club Q shooter and was 'dedicated to dying' in a shootout
A person shooting a gun (image via Shutterstock).

A Minnesota man who compiled a large stock of weapons and ammunition and expressed support for mass shootings online, while making disparaging remarks about minorities, gays and Jewish people, has been arrested after an FBI sting.

River William Smith had shown warning signs and fascination with weapons all the way back in 2019, where as a 17-year old he accidentally shot his grandmother with a rifle. Smith admitted to an informant his grandmother purchased his weapons since he was too young to buy them himself.

In recent years Smith's extremism only got worse, as he attempted to purchase grenades during an FBI sting. The official charges against Smith are one count of attempting to receive and possess destructive devices and one count of possession of a machine gun.

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He was initially referred to the FBI from an instructor at a gun range in late September, who noted Smith's over-the-top tactical gear and body armor during his visit to the range. Smith also drew attention to himself after shooting nearly 300 rounds in 20 minutes during the same visit. Another informant at the gun range noted Smith's fascination with triggers and rapid-fire weapons.

"The FBI also discovered Smith had access to fully automatic rifles, handguns, suppressors, body armor and a Kevlar helmet," the Department of Justice said in a news release. "Smith stated that he was preparing to fight the police and was dedicated to dying in that fight. Smith asked a government informant for grenades and an illegal part to convert his AR-15 style rifle into a fully automatic machine gun."

"On December 14, 2022, under supervision of law enforcement, a meeting between Smith and a government informant was arranged. At the meeting, Smith purchased three hand grenades and four auto sears. Smith was arrested by law enforcement."

In private social media messages Smith communicated that his shooting style at the range was in preparation for a future deadly confrontation with the police. He called the Club Q shooter in Colorado a 'hero' and expressed sympathy for other mass shooters.