In just a few short hours after the terrible shooting in the Dutch town of Alphen aan de Rijn this weekend, a potential copycat threat was thwarted thanks to uncensored Twitter use and some concerned tweeters.
The tragic shooting at the Ridderhof mall on Saturday that claimed 6 victims was apparently something that a certain unnamed, 17-year-old Twitter user admired.
According to reports from wire service BNO News, a 17-year-old man was arrested on Sunday morning for statements he made on Twitter pertaining to the shooting.
The teen allegedly tweeted:
“Haha Iraq is also coming to the Netherlands. This man in Alphen already has 6 kills on his name. I’m going to outdo him.”
After tweeting the insensitive, at best, or unstable and threatening, at worst, tweet, the teen received so much negative feedback on Twitter that he deleted it and exclaimed: “”It was only a [expletive] joke. Look how serious you take that tweet!””
But police had already been alerted to the original – and deeply disturbing – tweet, likely by one of the man’s 300 Twitter followers.
They arrested him early Sunday morning.
It’s unclear whether the man was just making a sick joke or was seriously contemplating copying the shooter in some manner, but by broadcasting his thoughts on Twitter he made it easy for police to take his words as a threat. No doubt at least one of his followers believed he intended to follow through on his original tweet, as someone had to have tipped the authorities off.