Two days before a gunman opened fire at a Maryland newspaper office and killed five journalists, Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart editor, had reportedly said to The Observer he “can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.”
This is now his standard response to journalists, he told The Observer, having previously sent a similar message to The Daily Beast for a different story.
Jarrod W. Ramos, the gunman who had a grievance against the Capital Gazette, shot through the door of the newsroom office in Annapolis, Maryland Thursday afternoon, and killed five journalists. He had previously accused the newspaper of defamation and sued them, the LA Times reported.
Within a few hours of the shooting, The Observer’s story about Yiannopoulos’ comments, posted Tuesday, went viral on social media. Yiannopoulos blamed the media for the thousands of tweets in his name, and shared a screenshot of a message he sent to David Richardson, the journalist who wrote the original Observer story, threatening to sue him. “I’m suing you and the Observer,” he wrote. “I am coming for you and I will take you to the cleaners for this. Your life is over.”
Yiannopoulos also shared a photo on his Instagram with a rifle and wrote: “The bodies are barely cold but journalists are already exploiting them to score political points against me. It’s disgusting. I regret nothing I said, though of course like any normal person I am saddened to hear of needless death.”
He wrote on his Facebook, “If there turns out to be any dimension to this crime related to my private, misreported remarks, the responsibility for that lies squarely and wholly with the Beast and the Observer for drumming up fake hysteria about a private joke, and with the verified liberals who pretended they thought I was serious.”
His Venmo and Paypal accounts have reportedly been suspended in the aftermath, according to further posts on his Instagram, although it’s not clear if it was related to the shooting. The suspension of his accounts could not be independently verified by Oxygen.com.
[Photo: Milo Yiannopoulos seen at a a press conference in November, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. By Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images]