Man arrested after threatening Park City schools with gun on Instagram
PARK CITY, Utah — A man was arrested after he made threatening posts with an AR-15 style rifle toward local schools Wednesday.
At approximately 11:34 a.m. Wednesday, Summit County Dispatch received a call about a suspicious Instagram post. The caller sent photos of the posts to police and referred them to another person who followed the suspect’s account and sent photos of the post to her.
The second complainant was able to identify the suspect, and told police that he was recently fired from Park City Mountain Resort.
A probable cause statement described three threatening Instagram story posts which the suspect, identified as Mariano Agustin Sanchez, admitted to posting.
The first post showed a man in a store holding what appeared to be a black AR-15 style rifle. The caption, translated from Spanish, read “People of Park City, if I were you, I wouldn’t go to school tomorrow.” The tag on the rifle said “Air Guns $299.99.”
A second post showed a man pointing a brown AR-15 style rifle and pulling the trigger to make a clicking sound. The caption, translated from Spanish, said “They are literally real, we tested them and everything.”
The third post described showed a streetlight and snowbanks in the background, with a caption, translated from Spanish, saying “Typical of the United States, you go looking for clothes and end up buying a weapon.”
The photos appeared to be taken at a store in Park City. Detectives spoke with employees there, who said they remembered the suspects in the store pointing the rifles. Employees told police that the suspects asked questions about purchasing the guns, and the employees told them they needed proper ID and permits. Video surveillance showed four people enter and leave the store without any guns.
Police said they then contacted Park City Mountain Resort staff about the post, in case the suspect was referring to the ski school that he was recently fired from. The staff there did not have any additional information.
Park City School District also emailed parents of students about the threat, saying there would be an increased police presence at local schools despite the suspects apprehension.
Park City Police said they interviewed Sanchez about the posts after he waived his Miranda rights. He told police that the post was meant as a joke for his Argentine Instagram followers, and that he did not know if the guns in the first post were real or fake as he had never handled a gun before. He did say, however, that he knew the guns in the second post were real.
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