Halifax mass shooting plot

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Halifax mass shooting plot
LocationHalifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
DateSaturday, February 14, 2015
TargetHalifax Shopping Centre
Attack type
Possible shooting, murder-suicide[1]
Weapons
Deaths1 (James Gamble)

The Halifax mass shooting plot was an event that chiefly occurred between February 12, 2015, to February 14, 2015. Police were alerted to three people, identified as Lindsay Souvannarath, Randall Shepherd, and James Gamble, who were reportedly conspiring to commit a mass killing at the Halifax Shopping Centre. Souvannarath and Shepherd were arrested and convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, while Gamble was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Details[edit]

On February 12, 2015, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, received a tip through Crime Stoppers that three persons were planning to commit a mass killing at the Halifax Shopping Centre. Two of the suspects, Randall Steven Shepherd, 20, of Timberlea, and Lindsay Kanittha Souvannarath, 23, from Geneva, Illinois, had access to firearms and presented a threat.[2]

In the early morning of February 13, police staked out Gamble's duplex house in Timberlea, a small suburb outside of Halifax. After both of Gamble's parents had left the house and been questioned by police, police entered the house and found the third plot suspect, 19-year-old James Gamble, deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.[3] Also found in the house were three rifles.[4] At the same time, the police arrested Souvannarath and Shepherd at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Shepherd was meeting Souvannarath, Gamble's online girlfriend, as she arrived from the United States.[5] A 17-year-old from Cole Harbour was arrested at 11 am, but was shortly thereafter released from custody due to determination that he had no idea of, nor involvement in the plot. The police learned that it was the trio's intention to go into a public venue and open fire, attempting to kill as many people as possible, before turning the guns on themselves on February 14 (Valentine's Day). The venue was later disclosed as the Halifax Shopping Centre on Mumford Road.[6]

Shepherd and Souvannarath faced charges of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit arson, conspiracy to use weapons for a dangerous purpose, and unlawfully conveying threats through social media.[7]

Suspects[edit]

Souvannarath, Shepherd, and Gamble all met on the website Tumblr, where they shared an obsession with death, true crime, heavy metal music, and Nazi imagery. Gamble's blog included imagery of Nazis and the Columbine High School massacre,[8] along with pictures of guns from World War II, and Shepherd's contained death metal audio tracks and gore, whereas on Souvannarath's blog, headlined with, "School Shooter Chic; violence is the aesthetic," she made many allusions to events of mass murder and mayhem in the month of February and as early as several months beforehand, interspersed with anti-Semitic comments in juxtaposition with posts of photo sets of Japanese fashion on her pastel-pink background. On February 5, 2015, Gamble reblogged a photo Souvannarath posted on Tumblr saying "Valentine's Day, it's going down", hinting to the would-be shooting.[9][10]

Charges[edit]

As of February 19, 2015, Shepherd and Souvannarath faced charges of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit arson, illegal possession of weapons for dangerous purposes against the public, and making threats over social media.[11] They appeared in court on March 6, but did not seek bail. Preliminary court proceedings continued on April 10.[12][13][14]

On November 22, 2016, Shepherd plead guilty at Nova Scotia Supreme Court on the charge of conspiracy to commit murder, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, less 974 days for time served.[15] Souvannarath was expected to go to trial in May 2017 on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit arson, but instead pleaded guilty in April.[16] On April 20, 2018, she was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for ten years.[17] Souvannarath appealed her sentence, arguing it was "flawed and manifestly harsh and excessive", however the appeal was denied on May 29, 2019.[18]

Lindsay Souvannarath's prison interview/podcast appearance[edit]

While serving a life sentence for her role in the Halifax mass shooting plot, Souvannarath broke the silence she has maintained since her arrest by appearing on The Night Time Podcast, a Halifax-based podcast focusing on Canadian crime, mysteries, and offbeat stories.[19][20][21]

In the seven part podcast series, Souvannarath spoke candidly about her life, her neo-Nazi radicalization,[22] her relationship with James Gamble, the planning of the shooting plot, and the events surrounding her arrest at the Halifax airport.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Halifax police thwart Valentine's Day plot for mass murder-suicide". CTV News Atlantic. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  2. ^ "Foiled Halifax shooting suspects face new charges over shopping mall plot". The Guardian. Reuters. February 17, 2015. Archived from the original on September 17, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  3. ^ "Police not at fault in case of teen who committed suicide". CBC News. November 6, 2015. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017.
  4. ^ Taber, Jane; Freeze, Colin (February 15, 2015). "Dead teen linked to alleged Halifax plot referenced Columbine". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on November 8, 2019. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "Three arrested in Halifax Valentine's Day mass murder plot". Canoe.ca. QMI Agency. February 14, 2015. Archived from the original on February 16, 2015. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  6. ^ "Randall Steven Shepherd, Lindsay Kanittha Souvannarath charged in Halifax shooting plot". CBC News. February 14, 2015. Archived from the original on November 24, 2015. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  7. ^ "Lindsay Souvannarath, Randall Shepherd to set preliminary inquiry dates next". CBC News. March 6, 2015. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  8. ^ "Halifax Shooting Plot: Who Are the "Columbiners?"". Huffington Post Canada. Canadian Broadcasting Company. February 17, 2015. Archived from the original on June 12, 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2015.
  9. ^ MacDonald, Michael (July 23, 2015). "Pair charged in Halifax mall plot to go to trial as preliminary hearing wraps". CTV News Atlantic. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on November 4, 2018.
  10. ^ Lamoureux, Mack (February 21, 2019). "The Woman Who Plotted a Valentine's Mass Murder Shares How the Internet Radicalized Her". Vice. Archived from the original on February 26, 2019. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  11. ^ Tutton, Michael; MacDonald, Michael (February 17, 2015). "Two accused in Halifax shopping mall threat face more charges". The Star. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on November 24, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  12. ^ "Six stories in Canada we're watching". Maclean's. The Canadian Press. April 10, 2015. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  13. ^ "Case of pair accused of plotting attack at Halifax mall adjourned to next week". CTV News Atlantic. The Canadian Press. April 10, 2015. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  14. ^ MacIntyre, Mary Ellen (April 10, 2015). "Volume of evidence slows Halifax mall threat case". The Chronicle Herald. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  15. ^ Stagg, Carly (November 22, 2016). "Co-accused in Halifax Shopping Centre shooting plot sentenced to 10 years". CBC News. Archived from the original on May 4, 2017.
  16. ^ Tutton, Michael (April 11, 2017). "American woman makes unexpected guilty plea in shooting plot at Halifax mall". CTV News. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on May 16, 2017. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  17. ^ Bundale, Brett (20 April 2018). "American woman sentenced to life in Halifax mall shooting plot". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on 8 November 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  18. ^ Rhodes, Blair (May 29, 2019). "Woman convicted in Valentine's Day Halifax mall plot loses appeal". CBC News. Archived from the original on November 8, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  19. ^ Beswick, Aaron (Feb 11, 2019). "Halifax mall shooting plotter: 'You're just purifying the world from those who just do not have very much to contribute'". the Chronicle Herald. Archived from the original on November 8, 2019. Retrieved Nov 27, 2019.
  20. ^ keeshan, Charles (Feb 21, 2019). "Canadian who could have been killed by Geneva woman interviews her". Daily Herald. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  21. ^ "Nighttime podcast recap: The story of Lindsay Souvannarath — an introduction". Global News. Feb 6, 2019. Retrieved Nov 28, 2019.
  22. ^ Lamoureux, Mack (Feb 21, 2019). "The Woman Who Plotted a Valentine's Mass Murder Shares How the Internet Radicalized Her". Vice Media. Retrieved Nov 28, 2019.
  23. ^ Rhodes, Blair (Feb 21, 2019). "'Just like Columbine': Conspirator details thwarted Valentine's Day massacre". CBC. Retrieved Nov 28, 2019.

External links[edit]