A Bryan County 911 dispatcher reported a man called five times from a blocked number early Tuesday morning, referencing the May 24 mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas and asking how to get an AR-15, according to a Bryan County Sheriff ’s Office report. The caller also “made several vague threats toward our dispatcher and the sheriff ’s office during the conversations,” the report said, noting the caller also asked if the dispatcher was in Pembroke or Richmond Hill “and that could be where the shooting could happen.”
Friday, a representative of Daniel Defense told BCSO the company received threatening chat messages such as “you people should (bleep) die,” and “the nerve to fly your flags at half mast. Shame if somebody visits you.”
Daniel Defense, based in Black Creek, reportedly made the AR-15 used by 18-year-old Salvador Rolando Ramos to kill 19 students and two teachers and wound another 17 people at Robb Elementary School. The company issued a statement May 26 saying it was “deeply saddened by the tragic events in Texas this week.”
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community devastated by this evil act,” said Steve Reed, Daniel Defense’s vice president for marketing. “As reported in Governor Abbott’s press conference, it is our understanding that the firearm used in the attack was manufactured by Daniel Defense. We will cooperate with all federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities in their investigations. We will keep the families of the victims and the entire Uvalde community in our thoughts and our prayers.”
The company has been in international media crosshairs since the shooting, with one online headline in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reading “Opinion: Georgia gunmaker the choice for mass slaughter.”
Daniel Defense has had a facility in the Interstate Centre in Black Creek since 2008 after moving from Garden City. It expanded to its present facility in 2018.
In October, 2017, the company acknowledged that at least one of its firearms was spotted among a number of firearms in the Las Vegas hotel room of a Stephen Paddock, who used a number of weapons on Oct. 1 to fire on concert-goers from the room, killing 59 and injuring more than 520 people. It was unclear whether a Daniel Defense weapon was used in that shooting.
Tuesday’s threats against local law enforcement were called into one of the 911 center’s administrative numbers, according to a BCSO incident report, which said as a dispatcher tried to ask questions “the male overrode them with continuous talking,” before asking if dispatchers knew of the shooting in Texas. The caller also said “more mass shootings were going to happen and it wasn’t a question of if it was going to be happening, it was when and where,” the report said. “(The caller) went on to say that he, referring to the dispatcher, may need to be ducking and he didn’t want to see our dispatcher on TV crying ‘cause he lost family, friends, people he knew.”
The incident is under investigation.