Perry High School Shooter Sent Discord Messages Minutes Before Attack

The shooter wrote he was “gearing up” in the bathroom and used a racial slur minutes before the deadly shooting.

Perry High School Shooter Sent Discord Messages Minutes Before Attack

Photo: Jaiz Anuar - stock.adobe.com

PERRY, Iowa — The Iowa teenager who carried out a shooting at Perry High School earlier this month sent several messages on a social media platform with details of his impending deadly assault.

The 17-year-old, who shot and killed 11-year-old Ahmir Jolliff and injured seven others on Jan. 4, messaged a group of online friends on Discord saying he was at the school and ready “for what’s to come,” NBC reports. Ten minutes before the shooting, he then wrote, “I’m f—–g nervous, I’m [in] the bathroom gearing up.” At one point, he posted a photo of himself with a blue duffel bag inside a school bathroom stall on TikTok with the caption, “now we wait.”

Several minutes later, the gunman sent a racist message to the Discord group, stating, “There’s a n—– in the bathroom, I need him to leave so I can assemble my guns.” Jolliff, who was Black, was gathered at the school with dozens of other students for breakfast before the start of the school day. The shooter emerged from the bathroom with a shotgun and a handgun and fired on the crowd before killing himself.

NBC also reports the shooter was a member of a Discord chat group called, “School Massacre Discussion.” Another Discord user who said he saw the shooter in the chat said they flagged the chatroom to the FBI in November. The user emailed an agent screenshots of the server but reportedly did not hear back. The user said their report did not include mention of the shooter’s username. The chatroom was closed before the shooting.

“Discord has a zero-tolerance policy against content that glorifies violence and violent extremism, which is reflected in our Community Guidelines,” the company wrote in a statement following the shooting. “We took immediate action against the suspect and his content, and are currently cooperating with law enforcement to assist them in their continuing investigation.”

The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation said it is investigating the shooter’s social media activity and that “investigators have seized large volumes of digital and social media evidence that will take time to review.”

Discord has previously been used by a mass shooter to detail their looming attack. In 2022, the convicted killer in the Buffalo grocery store attack that claimed 10 lives posted in the app about  combat gear and shared a “to-do-list” for the shooting, according to CNN.

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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One response to “Perry High School Shooter Sent Discord Messages Minutes Before Attack”

  1. Richard D Wilcox says:

    As a school resource officer, this obviously hits right at home for me. After reading the after-action reports of several critical incidents and active shooter incidents it is clearly an issue with the way that we follow up on the red-flagged messages. Although a lot of it gets missed we can see that after obtaining the red flags it’s not acted upon quickly enough. If our social media groups and or witnesses spot a message that gets posted there should be an immediate response regardless of the facts and credibility of the information received. A call should be made to our law enforcement and to our schools where immediate contact should be made with this student or subject.

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