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19-year-old from Casa Grande arrested after allegedly making terrorist threats

Casa Grande Police involved in deadly shooting overnight; officer assaulted but not seriously hurt
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 22:29:04-04

CASA GRANDE, AZ  — A Casa Grande man was arrested Sunday after threatening to shoot up a local school and movie theater, according to court records.

On June 5, 19-year-old Joshua Adam Bowen was arrested for making a terroristic threat.

According to the FBI investigation, Bowen allegedly said:

"Tune in June 10th for a Casa Grande school shooting...I'm going to kill at least 20."

"I'm going to shoot up my local Harkins theater..."

He also made racist and misogynistic comments, threatened to kill a relative and ex-girlfriend, as well as made positive statements about the deadly Uvalde and Buffalo mass shootings.

The investigation began on June 1, when a fellow Call of Duty gamer from Texas reported the threats to the FBI National Threat Operation Center (NTOC).

Less than 48 hours after the tip FBI agents were in touch with the gaming company and quickly identified the user, whom they say is Joshua Bowen. Investigators also obtained six months of the teen's chat records, which revealed a long history of violent threats.

The federal agents contacted Casa Grande PD about the threats. Bowen was placed under surveillance and CGPD officers pulled him over and arrested him just four days after the tip was submitted online.

" A tip, action, court orders, [then] an arrest - all within a really short timeframe. It's a success," said Matt Browning, a retired Mesa police officer who now focuses on extremism.

No weapons were found at the time of his arrest or at his Mom's house where he was living. However, detectives say they were able to identify information that leads them to believe he may have access to firearms.

Court documents note that the 19-year-old has a developmental disorder. As of Tuesday, the Pinal County Attorney's Office had not filed charges, and the teen said he was innocent at the time of his arrest and "denied making any threats."

He was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center and is being held on a $150,000 bond.

Tuesday the Department of Homeland Security issued another National Terrorism Bulletin warning of "a heightened threat environment."

The security agency also warned, "Threat actors have recently mobilized to violence due to factors such as personal grievances, reactions to current events, and adherence to violent extremist ideologies, including racially or ethnically motivated or anti-government/anti-authority violent extremism."

Experts say it is so important for everyone to be vigilant to threats that imply mass shootings or specific violence against a person or place, and report them immediately to law enforcement.

"This reporting of suspicious activity is important. It has to come from educators, it has to come from clinicians and doctors and law enforcement," said Frank Milstead, the former Director of the Arizona Department of Safety. You can call your local police department or submit a tip to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov or by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI.

"If it turns out that the information isn't legit, or doesn't pan out, [it's] 'Hey, thanks for calling, we appreciate it.' But it's going to be that one time that it does pan out...and you just stopped a mass shooting," said Browning.