A Pittsburgh man, charged with firing shots at his roommate, planned to don a gorilla suit while going on a killing spree during the city’s annual St. Patrick's Day parade, police say.
Judge Jeffrey A. Manning revoked the $100,000 bond for Sean Notman, 27-year-old suspect, after his terror plot to kill up to 15 people was revealed.
According to local police, Notman made detailed plans to shoot at the large crowd gathered in Market Square, Pittsburgh, on Saturday, March 17.
However, his plans were foiled when he was arrested for firing an AK-47 assault rifle at his roommate and band mate, Gene Marnell, and his girlfriend, inside their Mount Oliver apartment on February 26.
When the police searched his apartment they discovered an AK-47 rifle, two loaded 30-round clips and a .357 revolver. All of the weapons were purchased legally, police said. They also found a notebook with a diagram that he labeled "Garbage Can Bomb," as well as a gorilla suit on the floor.
“He was acting strange,” Marnell’s brother Bill, a bank manager and member of Gene and Sean’s metal band, Chapter 12, told the Irish Voice.
“He was on a downward spiral for a few months and he was getting more reclusive. For as long as I have known Sean, he was a nice guy.”
An FBI analysis of Notman’s laptop unearthed documents where he had written," 15 people must die, and many more shall be injured.”
“I am aiming at women in particular, but not exclusively.”
"i chose st. patricks day because of the large volume of people. obviously that gives me a larger number dogs to put down (sic),” he wrote.
Pittsburgh Police Lieutenant Jeffrey Korczyk said investigators were confident that the 27-year-old was serious about his plans.
“I really believe he had full intentions of carrying this out," he stated during a press conference last Thursday.
Notman also noted he would have a higher body count because people would be drunk due to celebrations.
"He also realized that police were going to come and he stated that the police would die bravely and valiantly but that he had to do what he had to do. He felt that if he wasn't killed by the police that he was going to use a .357 to take his own life," said Korczyk.
According to Bill Marnell, Notman worked as a hibachi chef for some time, but had lost his job several months ago. Then in early February he quit the band which he had joined as a guitarist in 2005.
“Sean is an incredibly intelligent guy,” Marnell told the Irish Voice.
“It was a surprise to many of us, but we knew something was up. I think Gene knew he was acting oddly, but never knew the extent.”
Meanwhile, members of the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day parade committee expressed shock at the news.
“We are kind of dismayed by the whole situation,” Patrick O’Brien, chairman of the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day parade committee told the Irish Voice.
“There were close to 300,000 people downtown for the parade this year,” he added.
The first parade was held in 1869 and continues to attract large crowds to the city. With almost 24,000 people involved in the parade this year, O’Brien said organizers were shocked to hear the news of the alleged terror plot.
“We had a wrap up meeting the other night and everybody was surprised at the news,” he said.
Notman’s attorney said his client needs to undergo a mental health examination. He is due to face a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.