FBI: Austin man plotting mass shooting arrested on weapons charges


Federal officials say they might have foiled a mass shooting in Austin this month, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in federal court in Austin.

A confidential source told the FBI that Steven Thomas Boehle, 50, is a right-wing extremist who planned the attack, according to the affidavit. The six-page filing does not give many specifics about the alleged plot but does reveal that on April 12 Austin police seized three guns and about 1,100 rounds of ammunition from a North Austin residence where Boehle had been staying.

The document says the source told authorities Boehle “exhibits sovereign citizen extremism ideology.”

BE THE FIRST TO KNOW: When big news breaks, we send Breaking News emails. Click to sign up

Boehle is charged with making a false statement in connection with the attempted acquisition of a firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He is banned from purchasing firearms because of a 1993 misdemeanor assault conviction in Connecticut. The victim in that incident was an intimate partner of Boehle’s.

Boehle on three occasions attempted to buy a firearm from an Austin-area retailer, according to the affidavit, but was denied each time. Boehle responded “no” each time to a question asking if he had ever been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, the affidavit says. His most recent attempt came in December at Central Texas Gun Works on Ben White Boulevard, the document says.

A search warrant based on a narcotics investigation was executed April 12 at 615 W. St. Johns Ave., the affidavit says. Police found the guns and ammunition in a closet along with some of Boehle’s belongings, the document says. A witness with whom Boehle was living became “visibly upset” when police told her about the guns, the document says. There is no mention in the affidavit about police finding drugs or why they were investigating the location for narcotics.

It was unclear Monday where Boehle might have obtained the guns found at the address.

The home address listed for Boehle in the affidavit is an apartment in the 2300 block of La Casa Drive in South Austin.

In late 2014, the FBI became involved in another shooting investigation in Austin. In Nov. 27, 2014, Larry Steven McQuilliams targeted and shot at several buildings downtown until Austin police Sgt. Adam Johnson shot and killed him outside police headquarters. No one else was injured in that incident.

STATESMAN IN-DEPTH: How a single improbable shot last year put a stop to a night of terror

The FBI’s investigation into the shooting determined that McQuilliams acted alone with no help in planning or executing the attack, FBI officials have said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

RIGHT NOW: Two men hospitalized with gunshot wounds Sunday night
RIGHT NOW: Two men hospitalized with gunshot wounds Sunday night

Two men have been hospitalized for gunshot wounds on Sunday night, according to Austin-Travis County EMS. Police are on scene at Rogge Lane and Manor Road in northeast Austin and have asked people to avoid the area, EMS said. Officials did not have any other information to provide about the incident. Both men were taken to Dell Seton Medical Center...
1979 solar eclipse news report ended with wish for peace in 2017
1979 solar eclipse news report ended with wish for peace in 2017

“May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace.” Those were the words of ABC News anchorman Frank Reynolds, who covered the last total eclipse that passed over the continental United States on Feb. 21, 1979. Reynolds ended his broadcast with a hopeful message of world peace in 2017 when the next total eclipse passed over the country...
Eclipse also has relevance for astrologers
Eclipse also has relevance for astrologers

Monday’s total eclipse is a significant event for astronomers, but it also has relevance for astrologers.  On her website, astrologer Marjorie Orr said that several major history-altering events -- including the explosion of the first atomic bomb and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy -- have occurred within a few months...
UPDATE: Four hospitalized after multi-vehicle wreck in South Austin
UPDATE: Four hospitalized after multi-vehicle wreck in South Austin

7:15 p.m. update: Four people were taken to the hospital after a multi-vehicle collision in South Austin on Sunday, Austin-Travis County EMS said. The wreck occurred at the intersection of Congress Avenue and Stassney Lane shortly before 6 p.m., EMS said. Five vehicles were involved with a total of nine passengers, medics said. Four people were taken...
Body of apparent crash victim found in North Austin

NORTH AUSTIN Police investigate fatal hit-and-run A man in his 30s who had apparently been hit by a car was found dead in the 8900 block of Galewood Drive in North Austin about 3:15 a.m. Sunday, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services said on Twitter. Austin police said the man was struck in a parking lot, and they are investigating it as a...
More Stories