A Virginia man blew off his hand while trying to make explosives he may have been planning to use to target “hot cheerleaders,” authorities say.
Cole Carini, 23, is now facing charges of lying to federal agents after he initially tried to pass off his severe injuries as the result of a lawnmower accident, according to the Department of Justice.
Authorities say Carini went to Richlands health clinic on Wednesday with an amputated hand, amputated fingers on the opposite hand and shrapnel wounds on his neck and throat.
He told investigators that he had suffered the injuries during a lawn mower accident at his home, but when investigators arrived at his home at short time later, they found the lawn was overgrown and it did not appear that it had been mowed recently.
The FBI did discover blood inside the home and a “flesh colored substance” that appeared to be human skin, according to the criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com.
They also found “evidence of an explosion” and “significant quantities” of triacetone triperoxide, a substance often used to make explosives.
The chemical was reportedly stored in footlocker inside an upstairs bedroom near a box of rusty nails, which authorities said can often be used as shrapnel in explosives.
In a shed behind Carini’s grandmother’s house—which was next door to his own home—authorities found PVC pipes, pieces of loose wires, empty chemical containers, extension cables and a pit that looked like an explosion site, according to the criminal complaint.
Investigators also found a “crumpled letter” that described attacking a stage of “hot cheerleaders” at a shopping mall.
“He decided I will not back down I will not be afraid of the consequences no matter what I will be heroic I will make a statement like Elliot Rodgers (sic) did he thought to himself,” the letter said, according to the complaint.
Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 14 others near the campus of the University of California in Santa Barbara on May 23, 2014 by shooting, stabbing or ramming his vehicle into his victims.
He died after shooting himself, but Rodger left behind a manifesto often embraced by “incels” or those who are “involuntarily celibate.” The 141-page document described his hatred of women, which was fueled by his own virginity and lack of success with women, according to the BBC.
Investigators interviewed Carini again after discovering the evidence at his home, but the 23-year-old maintained that he had suffered the injuries after his lawn mower flipped over and dragged his hands into the blades.
Authorities said Carini had been known to make explosive devices in the past and had been on probation for explosive violations until September 2019.
The investigation—which is being conducted by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Virginia State Police, the Richlands Police Department and the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office—remains ongoing.
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