A 32-year-old North Vancouver man made his first court appearance Wednesday after allegedly posting death threats on Facebook outlining plans to commit similar crimes to the deadly shooting at the Colorado movie theatre showing of the new Batman film.
Ryan Lewis is charged with uttering threats. He has been released on several conditions, including not being allowed to have access to the Internet. Investigators allege the suspect is "greatly disturbed and supportive of the fatal shootings in Colorado," said Cpl. Richard De Jong, a spokesman for the North Vancouver RCMP.
On July 24, North Vancouver RCMP received information that a local resident had posted several open death threats on his Facebook account to commit crimes similar to the recent shootings in Colorado, said De Jong.
Lewis was arrested last Wednesday and he is scheduled to appear in North Vancouver Provincial Court this morning.
De Jong said police take these types of threats very seriously.
"Social media is a powerful tool and can be used for good or bad. Comments and postings are not private and for public safety reasons are taken seriously," he said.
Police are not disclosing the exact nature of the comments, but De Jong said there were multiple entries and they were "in depth and graphic."
Just days after 12 people were killed in the shooting at a packed movie premiere of Dark Knight Rises on July 20 in the Denver suburb of Aurora, an individual called the North Vancouver RCMP to report disturbing comments on a Facebook site in support of the shooter, said De Jong.
De Jong said police have searched Lewis's home in the Lower Lonsdale area of North Vancouver, where he lived alone, but he would not say whether weapons had been found in the residence.