Police in Austin, Texas have confirmed that last Friday’s shooter was motivated by extreme, ultra-conservative politics, The Washington Post reported.
Last Friday, Larry McQuilliams opened fire on the Austin police headquarters, a federal courthouse, and the Mexican consulate. He was described by Austin police officials as a “homegrown American extremist” who was associated with a Christian identity hate group. When police searched McQuilliams’ home, they found a map with 34 marked targets, two of which were churches.
Although the shooter’s motive was previously undetermined, it was found that McQuilliams told friends he was having trouble find work while immigrants were getting federal assistance. The shooter left a note and clothes on his bed. However, the note just signified that the clothes were his funeral outfit. The only other note left was on his chest, which said “let me die,” in marker.
The group that McQuilliams is suspected to have had ties with is the Phineas Priesthood. The group is anti-Semitic, anti-multiculturalism, and they oppose biracial relationships, same-sex marriage, taxation, and abortion. Anything that signifies American progress, they hate. In the van used by McQuilliams during the shooting, police found a copy of “Vigilantes of Christendom,” a sort of manifesto attached to the Priesthood.
McQuilliams also has a criminal past, police found. In 1992, he was arrested for aggravated robbery; he was arrested in 1998 for DUI, and was also incarcerated for a bank robbery to which the Phineas Priesthood was connected.
The Washington Post reported the Phineas Priesthood as having a really bizarre philosophy and structure. Using the story of Phineas from the Bible, where Phineas kills an Israelite man and Midianite women for intermingling, the group justifies violence as long as it’s committed in the name of their beliefs. With no distinguished hierarchy, those who commit violence can identify themselves as members.
“The Phineas Priesthood is not a membership organization in the traditional sense: there are no meetings, rallies, or newsletters,” according to the Anti-Defamation League. “Extremists become ‘members’ when they commit ‘Phineas acts:’ any violent activity against ‘non-whites.’”
Because this man took on a warped interpretation of the Bible, he fired 100 shots into three buildings late at night. It’s a miracle he didn’t hurt or kill someone. It could be safe to say that McQuilliams was disturbed before he “became” a Phineas priest. No one in their right mind would subscribe to such heinous and outlandish beliefs.