BARTOW, Fla. (AP) — A Florida deputy was arrested Tuesday for threatening to kill federal officials following the riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, officials said.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd announced during a news conference that Deputy Peter Heneen, 29, was charged with making written threats to kill, conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism. The deputy, who was hired more than six years ago, has been suspended pending termination, Judd said.
“I am angry beyond words,” Judd said. “Having him arrested was important. Having him arrested before Inauguration Day was even more important.”
Joe Biden was set to be sworn in as president Wednesday in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington. Congress had met there Jan. 6 to certify the results of the presidential election. But an angry mob coming from a President Donald Trump rally near the White House broke into the Capitol, forcing members of Congress to flee. Five people died during the riot, including one Capitol Police officer.
Heneen had been communicating with another deputy on Facebook private messenger, angry about a rioter who had been fatally shot while trying to break through a door, the sheriff’s office said.
According to screenshots of the conversation, Heneen talked about shooting “the feds” and making “the streets of DC run red with the blood of these tyrants,” officials said.
The other deputy, who officials did not name, reported Heneen to his supervisors Jan. 8. Judd said they are still investigating, but Heneen does not appear to be part of any organized group or militia.
Online jail records did not list an attorney for Heneen.