A 23-year-old Ohio woman who worshiped the Columbine shooters as “God-like” and corresponded with Dylann Roof was arrested Monday for what authorities say were plans to commit mass murder at a local bar.
The arrest of Elizabeth Lecron came three days after the arrest of a 21-year-old ISIS-inspired Ohio man who planned to attack a pair of synagogues, authorities said at a press conference announcing both arrests.
Lecron was charged with the transport of explosives with intent after she bought two pounds of gunpowder and more than 600 screws Saturday in order to construct a pipe bomb.
She’d been on police radar since June, when a concerned citizen told Toledo cops Lecron, who owned multiple handguns and an AK-47 shotgun, had recently expressed a desire to conduct a violent attack.
Combing through her social media, cops found Lecron posted frequently about the Columbine shooters, and glorified other mass murderers, like Roof, who killed nine people at a church in Charleston in 2015. She even visited Columbine in August, promising the trip would be “fun” and that she was eager to share photos.
Lecron maintained a Tumblr account called “CharlestonChurchMiracle,” which featured dozens of photos and GIFs of serial killers and mass murderers like Ted Bundy, Nikolas Cruz and Adam Lanza, all interspersed with posts referencing depression, according to a release from the Department of Justice.
Tumblr did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jeff Fortunato, assistant special agent in charge of the Cleveland division of the FBI, said at the press conference that Lecron and the jailed Roof have been in contact since at least July.
She even tried to send the convicted killer Nazi literature, the release said.
Lecron said her master plan was to commit an “upscale mass murder” attack at a Toledo bar, and was also considering her place of work as a target, since she thought the company was polluting the river behind its facility.
The arrest of Damon Joseph, 21, was also announced Monday. Joseph, who is charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, was cuffed Friday by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Fortunato said Joseph entered authorities’ radar in May thanks to his behavior on social media.
Joseph, a convert to Islam, pledged his allegiance to the leader of ISIS in September, and made videos with the hopes of encouraging his “brothers in the West” to follow his lead and join him as a “recruit.”
Joseph was allegedly inspired by the October shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, and not long after, began drafting a plan of his own that targeted Israel-supporting Jews.
He had two specific synagogues in mind, and, in talking to an undercover employee of the terrorism task force, revealed his plans to seek out weapons he believed would inflict mass casualties.
Joseph did not own any firearms due to a violent charge in his past, but on Friday, agreed to take possession of two riles he thought had been purchased by the undercover employee in order to carry out the attack.
Fortunato said he was arrested after taking possession of the weapons.
His charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.