Teenager convicted of attempting to purchase gun with intent to endanger life
A teenager with an interest in mass shootings has been convicted of attempting to purchase a gun and ammunition with intent to endanger life.
Kyle Davies, 19, saw those behind the massacre at Columbine High School and Anders Breivik in Norway as his “poster boys”, prosecutors said.
He used the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to purchase a Glock 17 and five rounds of ammunition on the dark web, ordering it to his family home in Gloucester.
Homeland Security officers intercepted the order at Newark Airport in New York and tipped off local police, who arrested Davies after delivering a dummy package to his home.
Davies insisted he had purchased the gun and ammunition in order to kill himself and denied he was planning a mass shooting.
But when officers searched his bedroom, they discovered handwritten notes and a USB stick containing more than 1,000 pages relating to explosives and massacres.
A jury unanimously convicted him of attempting to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life and attempting to possess the ammunition with intent to endanger life following a two-week trial at Gloucester Crown Court.
Judge Paul Cook told Davies: “You have been found guilty in relation to both counts of the indictment.
“You are facing a significant period of imprisonment but I need to have further information about you and the risk that you pose.”
He will sentence Davies on a date to be fixed.
During the trial, jurors heard how Davies was an ordinary A-level pupil planning to go to university but had developed a “deep and persistent” interest in mass murders.
He had vast quantities of material relating to the Columbine High School shootings and to Breivik on a USB drive found after his arrest in June last year.
A shopping list entitled Phase One included the costs of items including a gas mask, trench coat, gloves, boots, body armour and a leg pistol holder.
Davies had scrawled “Hello Mr Policeman” on one page of writing, with “This one Mr Policeman” and an arrow next to it pointing to a passage about his mental state.
The court heard the handgun, magazine and five rounds of ammunition the teenager had ordered were all tested and found to be viable.
After Davies was arrested, he told firearms officers: “I know, I know. You should have just shot me. I haven’t technically possessed anything anyway.”
Prosecuting, Anna Vigars QC told the jury: “He wasn’t preparing for suicide.
“He was perhaps expecting to die at the end of his own lethal killing spree and take as many others as possible out with him on the way.”
Officers from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, who investigated Davies, found no evidence that he had a target for any attack.