On Monday, Austin Police revealed that Larry McQuilliams, the man responsible for firing more than 100 rounds in downtown Austin on Friday morning, had ties to the Phineas Priesthood, an extremist Christian hate group.
Also known as the Phineas Priests, the group is considered a terrorist organization with links to the Christian Identity movement. The Phineas Priesthood opposes everything from interracial relationships and homosexuality to taxation and abortion.
Though police have yet to propose a motive for the shooting spree, friends have reported that McQuilliams was upset about not being able to find a job while immigrants received federal assistance. McQuilliams had recently moved to Austin and spent time working at a car wash.
During his 10-minute downtown shooting spree, McQuilliams shot at the Mexican Consulate and the U.S. Federal Courthouse before taking aim at APD's East Eighth Street headquarters. According to police, Sergeant Adam Johnson killed the suspect with a single shot to the heart while holding the reigns of two patrol horses.
During their investigation, police found McQuilliams had written "let me die" in marker across his chest and had laid out funeral clothes in his South Austin apartment. While examining his van, police found a map with 34 potential targets, as well as canisters made to look like IEDs.
Calling him "a lone wolf," Acevedo said McQuilliams was "a homegrown American extremist," something that is consistent with the Phineas Priesthood which has no governing body and instead relies on individuals to take up the cause without guidance.
McQuilliams had previously spent eight years in federal prison for armed robbery and was arrested in 1998 for DWI.