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SeaWorld Worker Accused Of Threatening Va. Tech-Type Massacre At Theme Park

Co-Workers Say Man Idolized Va. Tech Shooter

POSTED: 2:21 pm EDT April 25, 2007

UPDATED: 8:39 am EDT April 26, 2007

Link to full story and photo of co-worker here:

http://www.local6.com/news/13102809/detail.html

Gilbert Alexander Garcia, 20, of Orlando, was arrested and charged with threatening to throw, place or discharge a destructive device and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

According to an Orange County Sheriff's Office report, a co-worker said in a statement that Garcia told her on Sunday that he was serious about the threat and would shoot everyone because he hated SeaWorld.

Garcia was also accused by another co-worker of saying that the victims in the Virginia Tech shootings deserved to die because "they made the Korean guy feel like a loner."

Garcia said he was going to shoot people in SeaWorld, and that he would be remembered for it nationwide, the report said.

Garcia also stated to a co-worker that he wanted to kill himself and showed her a BB gun and a baseball bat in his car, the sheriff's report said.

On Monday, Garcia was escorted to a security office at SeaWorld where he was informed that he was being investigated for the threats. Garcia admitted to officials that he told co-workers that he idolized the Virginia Tech shooter and wanted to shoot people but said he was only joking and had no intentions of following through, the report said.

A search of Garcia's vehicle uncovered a paintball gun, several baseball bats, emblems of vehicles and a baton, the sheriff's report said.

Two hours later, a co-worker recorded a phone conversation between herself and Garcia in which he allegedly stated that he would get revenge and blow up SeaWorld by dropping a bomb from a helicopter, according to the report. He also allegedly warned her to "stay out of his way" and "to duck if she saw an AK-47."

The recording was taken into evidence, the report said.

SeaWorld released a statement, saying:

"The safety of SeaWorld employees and guests is our highest priority. We have zero tolerance for threats of violence.

"As soon as we learned of the individual's comments, we took immediate action. He has been terminated and barred from entering SeaWorld property. The matter is being investigated by the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

"We have appropriate security policies and practices in place, and our parks are safe for both visitors and employees. To maintain the integrity of our security procedures, we do not comment on them publicly."

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

*from WKMG Orlando Local 6 website*

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The one thing I do not like about the first couple of weeks after a tragedy is that the media jumps on every little story that talks about someone doing something similiar. And people try to capitalize on it too. One thing I noticed is that the day or two after the VT shooting, there were news story's everywhere about bomb threats at colleges. Even though those aren't very common, I'm sure they happen pretty much all throughout the year. But they rarely make the news, except for recently. I feel like all of this reporting takes away from what actually happened and with all of this reporting people begin to get tired of hearing about it and that's how events like the VT massacre slips to the back of everyone's minds.

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