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Police say witness reported Maryland suspect who planned mass shooting

Andrea Ye, whose preferred name is Alex Ye Montgomery County Department of Police

Police say witness reported Maryland suspect who planned mass shooting

A friend of suspect Andrea Ye alerted authorities after seeing a manifesto in which she strategized about a school shooting, Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones said on Friday. Authorities arrested Ye on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Montgomery County Department of Police.

What happened between the report and the arrest? After the friend reported Ye, the Rockville Police Department tried to visit her home, but Ye’s father denied officers entry to the premises. After that visit, Ye rescinded her friend’s access to the Google document containing the manifesto, which Ye claims is a work of fiction, according to Chief Jones.

Authorities got a search warrant for the Google account containing the manifesto and allegedly discovered that Ye had been researching firearms. Authorities said they also discovered that, after the visit from the Rockville Police Department, Ye had begun researching the minimum age requirements for nearby shooting ranges, AR-15 rifles, and the novel “Forgive Me,” which is about a mass shooter.

Officers also viewed Ye’s manifesto as a part of their search into the account, according to Jones. In the document, Ye strategizes about committing a mass shooting at her high school and at the elementary school she attended—“because little kids make easier targets,” Jones said, referencing the document.

Officers later obtained a search warrant for Ye’s home and allegedly found several electronic devices. The devices contained search histories riddled with examinations of previous mass shootings at Sandy Hook, Parkland, and other locations. Jones clarified that a firearm was in a safe in Ye’s home, but it was not reasonably accessible to her.

What exactly is the crime here? Ye is charged with threatening a mass shooting, a misdemeanor that could result in up to 10 years in prison, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said on Friday.

This suspect is a woman? Isn’t that rare? The Montgomery County Department of Police, in its statement Thursday, said Andrea Ye preferred the name “Alex Ye.” WORLD reached out to the MCPD on Thursday and asked about Ye’s biological sex. “Alex Ye identifies as male,” the MCPD responded. Throughout Friday’s press conference, law enforcement, school, and county officials alike noted Ye’s mental health struggles as a factor in the threats. Montgomery County Executive Mark Elrich said it is not illegal to be transgender and that Ye identifying as a male was not important to the case.

Dig deeper: Read Juliana Chan Erickson’s report in Relations about the troubled mental health of a shooter who attacked a Texas megachurch.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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