Police investigating threats against 2 Atlanta gay bars

Police investigating threats against 2 Atlanta gay bars

ATLANTA — Days after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Atlanta police said Wednesday they're actively investigating threats made by a Twitter user against two gay bars.

The threats, which referred to Sunday’s mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub, were made against TEN Atlanta and Blake’s on the Park, Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones said.

“TEN or Blake’s could be the next Orlando,” the user said in one Twitter post. “You think I am the type to be the next ‘shooter’? Keep hating me then …

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“You are all dead to me,” another post read.

No one has been arrested, she said. The user’s Twitter account was not visible Wednesday.

Atlanta police are investigating social media threats against the local gay community following the nightclub massacre in Orlando.

Police Deputy Chief Erika Shields said before Channel 2’s Mark Winne interviewed her, investigators interviewed a man suspected of sending social media threats targeting the gay community. For the time being, he's been released.

“Pointed threats need to be taken seriously, and we will take them seriously,” Shields said. “And we need the public's help in pushing back to us information that is disconcerting to them.”

This is just one of several layers to the response Atlanta police began immediately after the deadly terror attack at Pulse, and the response involved businesses in Atlanta that cater to the gay community.
 
"We did immediate review of our locations," Shields said. "We put people out immediately so they'd have eyes on the locations. We made contact with the business owners."
 
She said Atlanta police rely heavily on partnership with the FBI and state authorities.

"So we're never going into anything alone," Shields said.
 
So far, the FBI has not advised police that Omar Mateen targeted Pulse specifically because it's a gay club, so police's focus can't be narrow.
              
"It's not a city where you should step out and feel fear, but what we need from the community is these lone wolves are so random and arbitrary," Shields said. "We need the community to be reaching out to us and to trust us when they're seeing on social media that threats are being made."