Boholano accused of plotting mass shooting in Florida nabbed

Bernardino Bolatete reportedly already owned several firearms before he was arrested by police in Florida on Saturday.|Photo: Bolatete’s Facebook

A Boholano former lay evangelist who was allegedly plotting to carry out a mass shooting at an Islamic Center in Florida was arrested through a sting operation.

In an Associated Press (AP) report, Sheriff Mike Williams announced Tuesday (PH time) that police arrested 69-year-old Bernardino Gawala Bolatete after he tried to buy a gun silencer from an undercover officer.

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Bolatete is a native of Tagbilaran City who used to work as an insurance executive at a Metro Manila firm before migrating to the United States.

Investigation on Bolatete was launched after police gathered information from a confidential source who said that the suspect was planning a mass shooting at the Islamic Center in Northeast Florida, the report said.

An undercover detective then reportedly reached out to Bolatete to set up a sting operation by selling to the Boholano a gun silencer.


During taped conversations, Bolatete repeated his plans for the shooting, the AP report added.

He was arrested on Saturday after the reported purchase of the silencer.

Williams said Bolatete already had the weaponry necessary to carry out the attack.

Bolatete is being held by the FBI and more charges could be filed. It was not known if he has an attorney.



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