Reduxx has learned that a trans-identified male was arrested in Perry County, Illinois, after making threats to commit a school shooting and murder children on behalf of the transgender community in response to transphobic “bullying.”
On August 14, the Springfield-area FBI intercepted a live-stream on social media they deemed “suspicious.” In the video, an individual was seen making a number of disturbing threats towards schools and local children, specifically indicating there were plots in-progress to commit a school shooting, though no single institution was named.
Using the IP address associated with the stream, the FBI was able to identify the individual making the threats as 47-year-old Jason L. Willie, also known as Alexia Willie. An address in northern Perry County was quickly traced, and local law enforcement was notified at approximately 8:00 pm.
Speaking to Reduxx, Perry County Sheriff Chad Howard explained that nearby Washington County police were initially notified due to a confusion in the address, but that officers acted quickly and liaised with his team. Both Washington County Police and Perry County Police descended on Willie’s residence that same night with a warrant for his arrest.
Willie’s male partner was at the home, and cooperated fully with police in providing information necessary for the arrest to occur. He asserted that there were no weapons in the home.
But while Sheriff Howard was reading Willie the Miranda warning, he says the suspect began “acting up” and actively resisting arrest. Willie’s behavior became so unmanageable that he had to be tased by a Washington County officer in order to secure his compliance in the police vehicle.
Because Willie was arrested approximately 12 hours prior to schools opening, no classes were cancelled. But Sheriff Howard explains that he and other officers were on site at the local schools in their jurisdiction the next day as a precautionary measure.
Among the threats Willie made included “we’re going to shoot your kids” and “the FBI can’t stop us,” leading to initial confusion about how many individuals were involved.
“At the time, we didn’t know if there was more than one person involved in this because Willie was speaking in plural — he was saying ‘us, we.'”
Sheriff Howard explains that he later learned that Willie was making a collective threat on behalf of the transgender community.
“At the time, we were under the impression that, possibly, there was more than one person involved. As it turns out, he was speaking about the transgender community,” Sheriff Howard says.
“He made the comment in a [police] interview when asked about what he meant by ‘we’ and ‘us.’ He said he was specifically tired of being made fun of and bullied for being transgender. So when he was saying ‘we’ and ‘us’ he was representing the transgender community as a whole.”
Disturbingly, Willie made multiple references to the horrific March shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. During that incident, a trans-identified female left 6 dead, 3 of whom were children aged 9, in an act of brutality that left the nation stunned.
“In the interview, he used ammunition from the Tennessee shooting. I didn’t even bring it up. Willie mentioned that the transgender individual in Tennessee was tired of being made fun of, and he used that as a reason why he was speaking on behalf of the transgender community.”
Willie was released on $0 bond approximately 48 hours after being booked, and while he was initially charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Sheriff Howard says the charges related to the threats were dropped due to a lack of specific target.
“Because there was no one individual person or individual school directly threatened, the disorderly conduct did not stick. It was not capable of being filed.”
Shortly after Willie was released into the community on bond, the FBI contacted Perry County police once again, reporting that Willie was making similar comments on social media.
Sheriff Howard and a deputy attended the residence as law enforcement support for the FBI agents who arrived to question Willie on the comments.
“The FBI contacted me and showed up with a team of investigators. We secured the property while the FBI took Willie in for questioning right there on the scene in their van. They did not have enough to place Willie under arrest,” Sheriff Howard says.
According to Perry County court records, Willie has not yet entered a plea on his charge of resisting arrest, but Sheriff Howard explains that even if he is found guilty he will likely walk away with a fine.
“It’s more or less going to end up going to be a hearing. Now with the state of Illinois having the SAFE-T Act, which went into effect on September 18, those types of crimes are no longer containable. You just bring [a suspect] in for booking, processing, and biometrics and then you release them with a court date and it is all handled by the courts from there on out.”
Willie’s next hearing is scheduled for January 2, 2024.
Special thank you to Manager Stephanie Waller and Journalist Pete Spitler at the local Pickneyville Du-Quoin Weekly Press for their assistance.
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