Broward County

California man used Instagram to threaten friends, family of Parkland tragedy, FBI says

A California man used Instagram to “harass and intimidate” the relatives and friends of the victims of the Valentine’s Day mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida.

Brandon Fleury, of Santa Ana, was arrested Friday on charges of using the internet to threaten to kidnap a person and to harass a person. He is expected to face a federal judge in Fort Lauderdale Monday.

According to the complaint, filed Friday, Fleury used several Instagram accounts including “nikolas.killed.your.sister” — a reference to the confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz — to send threatening messages. Among them: “I killed your loved ones ha ha ha” and “cry for me.”

The messages, according to the complaint, were sent between Dec. 22 and Jan. 11 and target friends and family of the 17 students and school staff members killed when Cruz opened fire on Building 12 on Feb. 14, 2018

While Fleury used different accounts, the FBI said all of the accounts came from the same IP address in California. On Jan. 16, FBI agents and other law enforcement officers executed a search warrant of the home Fleury shares with his father and brother, according to the complaint.

“Fleury made spontaneous statements to the effect that the agents were there because of ‘some stupid s---’ he had done on the Internet,” an agent wrote in the complaint.

Fleury told agents “he was motivated by gaining popularity and notoriety after posting the messages,” according to the report.

Miami Herald news partner, CBS4, contributed to this report.
Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.