POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A possible mass shooting in the Tampa Bay area thwarted by a concerned person on Facebook, authorities said.
Keith Kwiatek, 50, is facing a charge of Written Threat to Conduct a Mass Shooting Involving Terrorism.
“Very aloof. Keeps to himself,” said Pat Grovenger, Kwiatek’s neighbor in Auburndale. Kwiatek recently moved to Polk County from Pasco County.
Grovenger said she is glad Kwiatek is behind bars.
“You bet your life I’m frightened. When I have somebody living next door who is even threatening that, it could happen today. He belongs in jail and I hope he remains there and he’s definitely got a problem, whatever it is,” she said.
Court documents show, Kwiatek turned to social media to air out his grievances this month.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said he posted a picture of bullets covering a motion to find him in contempt of court related to his divorce proceedings.
The image also contained a CD cover depicting a bloody hand holding a wad of cash.
“$2,400 in support, sleeping in cars,” Kwiatek posted, according to authorities.
“I call it a sign. He called it art,” said Sheriff Grady Judd.
There were other Facebook messages allegedly sent by Kwiatek that raised alarms.
“Something bad is happening. Check me tomorrow night. Just please look tomorrow and see,” he wrote.
Kwiatek had a hearing scheduled for Wednesday in Pasco County having to do with his divorce proceedings, according to his arrest affidavit.
“These Pigs got me down but I’ve got plans 4 them,” he’s accused of writing on Facebook.
John Palm, who commented with concern in some of Kwiatek’s Facebook posts, told 8 On Your Side Kwiatek is a kind man who has been through a tough time with his divorce.
“I wish he hadn’t spoken in such vague terms to raise concerns,” he said. “I’m glad he was questioned.”
“We don’t know if this guy would have been an active shooter or not but he certainly touched the buzz words,” said Sheriff Judd.
Sheriff Judd commended the person/people who came forward to report the behavior on social media.
“No matter how great our response is – when someone dials 911 and says ‘they’re shooting now,’ we’re too late. But when the community does what the community did in this case and calls us in advance, we’re able to do an intervention and to potentially save lives,” he said.
Kwiatek is being held on no bond pending a hearing on Monday.