Twitter has tied a 26-year-old Missouri man who was recently sentenced to 14 years in prison for disabling an Amtrak train to the man accused of killed one and injured over a dozen others in Charlottesville, Virginia last year.
Data scientist Emily Gorcenski made the discovery when poring through photos of the white supremacist march in Charlottesville in August of 2017, noticing one photo with both men marching side-by-side, carrying shields.
I feel like it should be a bigger deal that A CONVICTED NEO-NAZI TERRORIST IS SEEN RIGHT NEXT TO AN ACCUSED NEO-NAZI TERRORIST pic.twitter.com/0syH0uLsoz
— Emily G (@EmilyGorcenski) October 7, 2018
Omaha, Nebraska NBC affiliate WOWT reported last week that the man who targeted the Amtrak was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of Violence Against a Transportation System and one count of Possession of an Unregistered Short-Barrel Rifle. WOWT also reported that the man self-identifies as a member of a neo-Nazi group.
His excuse was that he was “high” when he stormed into the engineer’s car with a handgun in October of 2017 and pulled the emergency brake, saying he was “trying to save the train from black people,” declaring himself the conductor of the train. Amtrak staff subdued the man until police arrived. Nobody was hurt in the incident, even though some passengers tried to escape the train by climbing out of windows.
The neo-Nazi’s attack on the Amtrak train came just two months after the “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, Virginia, which culminated in a terrorist attack on a crowd of counter-protesters. 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed in the attack, which also led to 19 other injuries. The perpetrator of the attack has been indicted on 30 counts, including a first-degree murder charge and a federal hate crime charge. He has pleaded not guilty.
In addition to the man who targeted the train and the man who drove into the crowd of counter-protesters, four members of a white supremacist group were recently charged with inciting a riot in relation to initiating street brawls with counter-protesters during the Unite the Right march. One of the white supremacists was outed by ProPublica as an employee for defense contractor Northrop Grumman, which fired him shortly after the report was published.
(Grit Post’s editorial policy is to not publish the names or likenesses of mass shooters or domestic terrorists, or name white supremacist organizations, in order to prevent them from attaining notoriety.)
Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.