WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) — Pasco County deputies arrested a Wesley Chapel man Tuesday after he threatened to conduct a mass shooting at an Illinois university, according to authorities.
Earlier this week, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Division of Public Safety released a report saying Jonathan A. Zheng, 22, of Wesley Chapel was arrested for threatening the Urbana campus on Reddit.
The university police said it first learned of the threat at around 7:30 p.m. after a Reddit user warned the division of Zheng’s threatening statements, which have since been deleted.
According to a Pasco County complaint affidavit, Zheng wrote that he was “going to shoot up the school.”
Zheng was quoted in the affidavit as saying, “give me one good reason why I shouldn’t kill everyone on campus you discriminate against me and punish me for being bullied I should kill every last one of you and watch you bleed out in pain.”
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect was expelled from the university in November 2022.
The university police said they used digital evidence from the Reddit post to track it to Pasco County, Florida.
Pasco deputies then interviewed Zheng at his home in Wesley Chapel home, where he admitted to making the threat, authorities said.
“There were a lot of moving parts to this investigation in a very quick timeframe,” said U. of I. Police Chief Alice Cary. “For one thing, we had an observant community member who immediately reported alarming social media content.”
The reason for Zheng’s previous expulsion and his student record were not released.