A Vancouver man was sentenced last week to 21 days of community service for threatening on Twitter to “shoot up” the Vancouver Mall in 2019.
Matthew J. Noble, 23, pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to a gross misdemeanor of harassment. He was originally charged with making threats to bomb or injure property, according to court records.
Court records show Noble has 20 days of credit for time served, so he must serve the one remaining day of his sentence by completing eight hours of community service. He is also prohibited from going to the Vancouver Mall for the length of his probation, which is two years.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives contacted the Vancouver Police Department at about 11:40 a.m. June 6, 2019, regarding the threat. The message had been sent at about 8:30 a.m. and read “Gonna shoot up the Vancouver Mall today,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.
In order to determine the correct location of the threat, ATF traced the origin of the tweet through the internet protocol, or IP, address, which came back to a device associated with Noble, the affidavit says. ATF also provided a Hazel Dell address for Noble.
Police responded to the address and spoke with Noble’s mother, who said he lives in an apartment near the mall. When contacted, Noble admitted to sending the tweet but said he didn’t intend to follow through on the threat, court records state.
He told police he doesn’t own or have access to a firearm, and a search of his apartment didn’t yield any firearms, according to court records.
“Noble said he had been listening to rap music that contained lyrics about shooting up a mall and had been listening to a podcast in which the speaker was talking about the psychology of mass shooters like the Columbine shooters,” the affidavit reads. “Noble said he posted the remark as ‘attention seeking … egotistical’ behavior and thought it would make him look ‘edgy’ on the internet.”
In his statement on plea of guilty, Noble wrote, “I know that such a statement, even if made in jest, can be taken very seriously and can cause great alarm to any person that reads it.”