The 24-year-old man who planned a mass shooting in Toledo's entertainment district was sentenced to six years of imprisonment today. Vincent Armstrong, was awarded the sentence for his role in plotting a terrorist attack at a local Toledo bar. His live-in girlfriend and co-defendant was sentenced for her involvement in the plot in August this year.
Assistant US Attorney Michael Freeman said that Armstrong had confessed to planning a mass-scale attack in Toledo. "His sentence reflects the seriousness of the charges against him and should serve as a reminder to all who live in our District and beyond - we will never stop working to protect our families, friends and neighbours," he said in a statement.
Away from public life for good
As per the court hearings and filings, the two defendants had met in early 2018 and started dating. They were involved in a subculture known as the 'True Crime Community' that was obsessed with mass murderers and glorified them. The two had also visited the areas associated with Columbine High School shooting in August 2018 to pay homage to the shooters.
Eric Smith, FBI Special Agent, asserted that Armstrong's incarceration will ensure the safety of the public and commended the public for bringing the duo's plans to the law enforcement's notice. "He and his fellow conspirator, Elizabeth LeCron, planned to attack and murder their fellow citizens for no other reason than their infatuation with violence. The FBI once again applauds the public for bringing LeCron and Armstrong's plans to the attention of law enforcement," he said.
In August 2019, Elizabeth had pleaded guilty to planning the violent attack and was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment and lifetime supervised release. George Kral, Chief of Toledo Police, said, "With the sentencing of this potential mass murderer, as was the case in his co-conspirators, residents of Toledo and NW Ohio are safer. Sadly, these individuals reside not only in our major cities, but also much closer to home."
An elaborate plan to cause harm and damage to life
Armstrong and Lecro are said to have engaged in preparation and deliberation for the attack, that they codenamed 'D-Day', which included the purchase of guns and target practice at a shooting range to improve their marksmanship, and chronicling their feelings and plan in their personal journals. An excerpt from Lecrons's diary read, "D-day will be my salvation."
They also purchased items that were required for making pipe bombs, after having acquired instructions for constructing the explosive devices. The preparatory activities for the attack began in April 2018 and lasted till December 10, 2018.