The former FedEx worker who murdered eight people in Indianapolis was reportedly part of a bizarre Internet subculture obsessed with “My Little Pony”.
Posts on Brandon Scott Hole’s now-removed Facebook page appear to indicate he was a member of the “Bronies” community – a group of mostly adult men who are extreme fans of the children’s toys and animated television show, the Wall Street Journal reported. The name Brony is a mashup between “bro” and “pony”.
Some members are sexually attracted to the characters, while the group also has allegedly displayed far-right tendencies.
“I hope that I can be with Applejack in the afterlife, my life has no meaning without her,” Hole, 19, wrote on his Facebook page less than an hour before his murderous rampage began, the WSJ reported.
The post included a photo of Applejack, a blond pony that is a main character on the show.
Facebook circulated a memo that stopped short of saying Hole’s pony-love had anything to do with the shooting, writing there was no clear evidence it motivated the massacre.
It is also emerging that Hole legally bought the two assault rifles he used, police said Saturday night – even though he should have been barred from doing so after a previous gun was seized due to mental health issues.
Authorities had seized a shotgun from Hole last year after his mother called police, saying she was worried he would try to commit “suicide by cop”, according to the FBI. The shotgun was not returned.
But the seizure should have prevented Hole, who killed himself following the Thursday night rampage, from legally buying another weapon, Indianapolis Police Chief Randal Taylor told The New York Times.
Indiana’s “red flag” laws allow a judge to bar someone deemed dangerous from having a firearm, but it’s unclear if Hole ever had a red flag hearing.