Police Arrest Man for Mass Shooting Threats on Vegas Casino

Wei Li Las Vegas Casino Threats

Wei Li allegedly texted his estranged wife he would make “the biggest (mass shooting) in history.”

An Ohio man is in custody after threatening to kill his estranged wife and carry out “historic” mass shootings at a Las Vegas casino, as well as the church he and his wife once attended.

28-year-old Wei Li, a foreign national whose nationality has not yet been revealed, was taken into federal custody on Thursday in Cuyahoga Falls, a city of 49,652 located between Akron and Cleveland, Ohio.

Wei Li’s estranged wife contacted authorities after she received threatening texts. The woman, who works in a Las Vegas casino, told authorities she feared for her life and the safety of others. Mr. Li stated in the texts that his rampage would “go down in history,” according to an FBI spokeswoman on Thursday.

FBI special agent Vicki D. Anderson said that she could not reveal the name of the Las Vegas casino which was threatened, though those details will emerge as the court case unfolds.

Wei Li: The Man Behind the Threats

According to the FBI, Wei Li began texting his wife, whose name has not yet been released, on Nov. 6. In those texts, Li threatened to shoot up the Las Vegas casino and hotel where she worked. Li also allegedly planned to carry out a mass shooting at a church that the family has attended. Though the church has not been identified, it appears to be a megachurch, because at least 1,000 people in attendance.

Vicki Anderson said, “Li indicated in the text messaging that the killing he planned to commit would go down in history and that he would blame his wife for all the deaths.”

“The Biggest Mass Shooting in History”

Li reportedly wrote in one text to his estrange wife,“There are 1,000 people in our church. I will make the biggest [mass shooting] in history.” 

Court records state that his wife responded to his threatening texts with, “You are too cruel,”, then later asked “Are you sick?“.

Li claimed to have made a dry run at the casino in question and evaded their security, though those claims appear to have been false. Li’s texts were sent while he was at his home in Cuyahoga Falls, according to records.

Wei Li Wanted a Green Card

Wei Li’s immigration status appeared to be a key factor in his threats. At one point, he told his estranged wife he would go through with his threats if he could not get his green card.

Investigators who had looked at the couple’s texts stated that the 28-year-old then sent photos of some knives and rifles. He also sent at least one photo with himself holding a rifle, along with a list of casinos in Las Vegas.

When approached by law enforcement, Wei Li mentioned that he did not own any guns, but had purchased a .22 caliber rifle back in 2014. He also claimed that the rifle later had been stolen. The Cuyahoga Police confirmed the theft of the rifle, presumably after looking at 2014 stolen property reports.

Wei Li in Las Vegas Casino?

Before the threats began on Nov. 6, Li reportedly made a visit to the casino in which his wife worked at. Li later told his wife that he was able to roam the building freely. He told her, “No one checked me.”

After the Las Vegas police were alerted of the threats, they informed FBI officials and the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department. On Nov 10, Wei Li was approached and interviewed by the Cuyahoga Falls police and the FBI.

When he was asked to unlock his phone, Li obliged to the request, but then deleted the apparent string of text messages discussing his plans to carry out the shootings. Li initially lied about erasing them, but later admitted to the threats and said that he believed the messages were “bad”. Wei Li also claimed to investigators that he wasn’t “serious” about the threats, according to court records.

Charges against Wei Li

Wei Li made his first court appearance Thursday morning, November 16. He has been charged with “interstate threatening communications” and “destruction of evidence”. Mr. Li is now being held without bail. His next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday Nov. 21.

The threats and arrest come less than 2 months after a mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas, which left 58 people dead.

Li’s arrest comes less than two weeks after a second mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which (like Li’s threats) happened at a church. In the Texas shooting, 26 people were killed, after a shooter fired inside a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs on Nov. 5. The set of incidents were two of the most deadly modern U.S history mass shootings, and appear to have inspired Wei Li.