Dakota Reed smiles as he walks out of the courtroom after pleading guilty to two counts of threats to bomb or injure property at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Friday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Dakota Reed smiles as he walks out of the courtroom after pleading guilty to two counts of threats to bomb or injure property at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Friday. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Monroe man guilty of plotting synagogue and school shootings

Dakota Reed wrote that he wanted to kill 30 Jews. He faces a standard jail sentence of six to 12 months.

MONROE — A Monroe man pleaded guilty Friday after he spent months making online threats to kill dozens of Jews, to shoot up a school and to carry out other acts of terrorism.

Dakota Reed, 20, admitted guilt in Snohomish County Superior Court to two counts of threats to bomb or injure property. The standard sentence under state law is six to 12 months in jail.

Prosecutors plan to call for a year behind bars.

Defense attorney Rick Merrill intends to argue for a first-time offender waiver — allowing for much lighter punishment — at a sentencing hearing June 4.

In fall 2018, the Anti-Defamation League tipped off the FBI about someone threatening mass killings on Facebook under fake names, according to charging papers.

I’m shooting for 30 Jews,” read a post Nov. 11. “No pun needed. Long ways away anyways. See you Goys.”

He espoused hateful, violent views under seven profiles that used aliases Tom Shill and William King. He was emboldened by a recent resurgence in hate groups nationwide.

“We can’t vote away what our fathers tried to, we must spill blood,” he wrote, hidden behind a screen and under the anonymity of his page Tom Shill II. “With ‘hate groups’ at the all-time high and with the internet to help spread our word eternally.”

Reed often referenced alt-right memes, in-jokes and chatspeak. He made several comments about plans to shoot up a synagogue in 2025. He advocated for an ethnostate in the Pacific Northwest. In one post he wrote about “pulling a Dylann Roof,” a reference to the white supremacist who gunned down nine people in a historically black church in South Carolina.

He posted images and video of himself with guns, called himself Active Shooter 327, and wrote that he “was saving up to buy more guns and ammo to kill (((rats))) and animals.” The (((echo))) symbol is code for Jewish people, in some circles on the internet.

Reed, then an employee of a local Fred Meyer, was arrested Dec. 7. A dozen guns were seized from his family home in Monroe.

The suspect eventually admitted he was behind all of the Facebook accounts. He told detectives he felt he had anger “cluttering” his mind. But he didn’t think people would take his posts too genuinely — “because it’s the internet.”

After being released on $50,000 bond, the FBI found more threatening memes posted on a Facebook page under Reed’s real name. The writer openly mused about bringing a grenade launcher to a courthouse. In another, he shared an image of a rifle covered in hateful messages. The gun was used to slaughter 50 people in March at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Christchurch shooter live-streamed the bloodshed on the internet.

Once the new posts by Reed came to light, he was booked into jail again. He has been behind bars since April 8, unable to come up with $500,000 bond. He is in jail while he awaits sentencing.

He smiled in the direction of a news camera, as he was led in and out of the courtroom Friday.

A Bible verse, Genesis 3:19, is tattooed on his left arm: “… for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

The passage comes from the Torah.

In a courthouse hallway, Reed’s parents declined to speak with a Daily Herald reporter.

Last month, on the final day of Passover, a young man opened fire in a San Diego synagogue, killing a 60-year-old woman and wounding an 8-year-old girl, a rabbi and one other worshipper, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

On social media, an anti-Semitic letter attributed to the suspect — who had no criminal record — described how he’d been inspired by other killers targeting houses of worship. The San Diego suspect apparently planned to live-stream the attempted massacre, but did not.

“I am a testament,” his letter read, “to the fact that literally anyone can do this.”

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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