NORWALK -- Police said they arrested a man who they said showed his interest in committing a mass shooting and had a number of guns, ammunition and tactical gear.
Brandon Wagshol, 22, of Norwalk, was arrested on Thursday and charged with four counts of Illegal Possession of Large Capacity Magazines.
Officials said in a statement:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation National Threat Operations Center (NTOC) received a tip that Wagshol was attempting to purchase large capacity rifle magazines from out-of-state. The FBI and the Norwalk Police Department began a joint investigation based upon this information. During the investigation it was revealed that Wagshol was buying rifle parts online in an attempt to build his own rifle. Wagshol had a Facebook post that showed his interest in committing a mass shooting. Based on the investigation, a risk search warrant was issued for Wagshol and his residence. During the evening of August 14, 2019, Wagshol was detained by Special Services Officers outside of his residence. The warrant was then executed by members of the Emergency Services Unit Tactical Response Team. During a search of the residence, officers seized .40 caliber handgun, .22 caliber rifle, rifle scope with laser, 4- firearm optic sites, firearm flashlight, numerous .40 caliber, .22 caliber and .300 Blackout rounds of ammunition, body armor with a titanium plate, camouflage shirt, pant and belt, ballistic helmet, tactical gloves, camouflage bag and computers. The firearms are registered to Wagshol’s father who resides at the residence however they were accessible to Wagshol.
Wagshol is being held on $250,000 bond and will appear in the Norwalk Court on August 16, 2019.
“We are thankful for our partnership with the FBI and fantastic teamwork that quickly brought this investigation from a tip to an arrest” said Chief Thomas Kulhawik. “I applaud the excellent work of our officers and the FBI agents that assisted and remind people, if they see something, say something.”
“Today’s arrest demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to working closely with our local law enforcement partners to mitigate this type of threat to our area,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Brian Turner. “With our local partners we gather, share and act upon threat information as it comes to our attention. As in this case, a tip from a vigilant citizen helped the FBI and the Norwalk Police Department disrupt a potentially dangerous situation. We continue to urge the public to please remain alert and to report to law enforcement any suspicious activity that is observed either in person or online. We thank the Norwalk Police Department for their partnership in resolving this matter.”
The President of Central Connecticut State University, Zulma Toro, confirmed that Wagshol was a student at the school last semester and lived in a residence hall. Toro goes on to say that he has now been placed on interim suspension pending further investigation. Wagshol is now also banned from campus to "to ensure every precaution is taken to ensure [students] and our campus remains safe."
"One of the steps we are taking is a collaboration involving CCSU, New Britain, Newington, and State Police departments to increase patrols on campus," Toro said in a letter to the CCSU students and faculty.
"We will continue to monitor this situation very closely and keep you updated. As we continue to prepare for the start of a new semester, have no doubt that the vibrancy, safety, and well-being of our Central Family will always be uppermost in my thoughts," Toro goes on to say.
Last year Wagshol apparently tweeted this: