FBI Called in Over Suspected Act of Domestic Terrorism

FBI Called in Over Suspected Act of Domestic Terrorism

(NationRise.com) – Authorities in Rochester, NY, requested the assistance of the FBI after discovering a suicide note left by a man who drove a fiery, bomb-filled car into a crowd of people early New Year’s Day.

35-year-old Michael Avery of Syracuse filled his large rental SUV with gas canisters on Sunday before driving it into a crowd of people just after 12:50 AM on New Year’s Day. The crowd, about 1,000 strong, was leaving a concert hosted by local rock band Moe at the Kodak Center.

Authorities later found a journal and suicide note that led them to suspect possible domestic terrorism. They requested assistance from the FBI, but agents determined that domestic terrorism or radical ideologies were unlikely to be the motivation for his attack. Instead, they decided that he was most likely driven by mental illness.

Relatives interviewed by authorities said they suspected Avery of being bipolar but never imagined him committing such an act. They said he never expressed negative opinions that would drive him to cause so much destruction or to hurt other people. Avery was never formally diagnosed with a mental disorder.

His crash left a young couple, both in their late 20s, dead after trapping them in their Uber vehicle. The collision caused a blaze that took firefighters an hour to extinguish. The Uber driver was injured but is expected to recover. Several other attendees were also wounded. Avery survived the crash but succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital Monday evening.

Details on the contents of his journal and suicide note have not yet been released as of this writing. Video surveillance recorded on December 30th showed Avery purchasing the canisters that would later be used in his attack. He bought the canisters from different locations in a likely attempt to avoid suspicion. He appeared to be alone during each purchase. Authorities said they also plan to search a storage unit that Avery was renting as they continue to investigate his motive.

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