A 50-year-old registered sex offender named Ralph Perkins has been arrested and is currently being held without bail in the Hillsborough County jail after threatening to commit a mass shooting against the gay community in Tampa.
“I like to take a gun I like to wipe the whole gay community out in Tampa and then kill myself,” Perkins wrote via a grammatically incorrect text message on his phone. “That’s going to be my ultimate present to Tampa Florida is the annihilator the gay community before I kill myself.”
Police say the man made the threat after being spurned by a random stranger on Grindr who refused to move in with him.
Tampa police spokesperson Eddy Durkin clarified in an email to the Tampa Bay Times, “Perkins did not have any known immediate access to firearms and no weapons were confiscated during the arrest. However, we cannot predict what he would have done had he not been arrested.”
A witness added that Perkins said he was depressed and had stomach cancer.
Creepily, this isn’t the first time a deranged man has threatened a mass shooting against Florida’s gay community.
In August 2016, a 50-year-old man Craig Jungwirth wrote on Facebook, “It’s time to clean up Wilton Manors from all you AIDS-infested losers… None of you deserve to live. If you losers thought the Pulse Nightclub shooting was bad, wait ’til you see what I’m planning for Labor Day.”
Local gay bars were on high-security Labor Day weekend, and though authorities dropped the federal charges against him for making a terrorist threat, Jungwirth was later arrested for violating the terms of his probation in another case.
Jungwirth had previously pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges in Broward County for running out on a bill at the Courtyard Cafe in Wilton Manners and spraying graffiti on the windows at Rumors Bar & Grill. The court ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and not contact Nick Berry, the owner of both establishments, but Jungwirth didn’t follow either order and was subsequently thrown in jail.