Virginia man's 'hit list' had Trump on it
Search warrant shows Alexander Timothy Cross had a history of mental illness and told a federal agent 'I can't say I wouldn't' kill the president.
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Virginia man's 'hit list' had Trump on it
HIT LIST… A mentally ill Virginia man who calls himself the “Commander of the Army of the Lord” allegedly drew up a “hit list” of public officials, including President Trump, and managed to purchase a rifle, three pistols and thousands of rounds of ammunition before being arrested.
A search warrant recently unsealed in Virginia federal court shows that Alexander Timothy Cross was initially arrested in September by sheriff’s deputies in Buckingham County, Virginia, and then interviewed a day later in jail by a U.S. Secret Service agent.
During that interview, Cross allegedly described a handwritten list containing the names of numerous public officials that was discovered by investigators as a “hit list.” When asked by the agent whether he wanted to kill Trump, Cross allegedly replied: “I can’t say I wouldn’t.”
According to the search warrant, Cross went on to say that he planned to kill the listed officials at the base of the Washington Monument on his birthday.
There was no mention that the alleged “hit list” had Trump’s name on it when federal authorities eventually brought a case against Cross on charges of illegally possessing firearms after having previously been committed to a mental instituion. Those details only were made public in the search warrant, which was unsealed on January 14 and which I uncovered last week.
Cross has been held behind bars since his arrest. A judge decided during a November hearing that he posed a danger to the community.
Andrea Lantz Harris, the public defender assigned to Cross’ case, declined to comment for this report.
KEY DETAILS: Cross told the Secret Service agent that he purchased his Smith and Wesson rifle and Ruger .380 pistol from a man he met online, according to the search warrant. In addition, he allegedly told the agent he bought a .45 caliber pistol at a yard sale. The documents don’t say where he got a third pistol that investigators found.
TIMING: The case comes at a time when Democratic lawmakers in Virginia are working to pass new gun control measures, including universal background checks and so-called “red flag” laws.
THE LETTER: Cross discussed his mental health problems at length in a letter to prosecutors dated October 20. In it, he said he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder “depending on who you ask.” He said he had been doing well in outpatient treatment and demanded that prosecutors drop the case and give him back his guns. “The best case scenario for every American Citizen and I daresay every person on this planet, would be for you to stand down, drop your charges, and assist me in the restoration of my Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” he wrote. “I will not be satisfied with anything less.”
THE SIGNATURE: Cross signed his letter, “Alex T C, CRITE of Aquariana, Commander of the Army of the Lord.”
SOCIAL MEDIA: The only trace of social media that I was able to find was a LinkedIn profile under the name Alex T Cross. The “about” section of the profile described him this way: “As CRITE of AQUARIANA, I will fulfill the incumbent responsibilities of the Jewish Messiah, Islamic Mahdi and Christian Christ.”
THE PLEA: Cross has pleaded not guilty.
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“Germany Shooting Leaves at Least 11 Dead in Far-Right Attack” (NYT)
“Germany shooting: 'Far-right extremist' carried out shisha bars attacks” (BBC)
“Shooter in German Killings Had Racist Motive, Officials Say” (WSJ)
“German gunman kills nine in attack on migrant bars” (Reuters)
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