Police: Iowa Men Referenced Columbine, Marathon Bombing in Threats to Pokemon World Championships

The two suspects allegedly drove 25 hours to Massachusetts with a rifle, a shotgun, ammunition, and a hunting knife.

James Stumbo. (via YouTube)

James Stumbo. (via YouTube)

Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans said the two Iowa men accused to threatening the Pokemon World Championships held at the Hynes Convention Center over the weekend made violent threats online, referencing to the 1999 Columbine school shooting and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

James Austin Stumbo, 27, and Kevin Norton, 18, were arrested Saturday at a Saugus hotel after police—tipped off by violent threats made over social media—recovered a 12-gauge Remington shotgun, a DPM5 Model AR-15 rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife in Norton’s car. They are charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and other firearm related charges.

Police say Stumbo and Norton had driven 25 hours from Iowa to Massachusetts for the Pokemon World Championships, where both suspects were invited to play.

At the suspects’ arraignment in Boston Municipal Court Monday morning, assistant Suffolk County District Attorney James Janezic said Norton told the above-mentioned moderator, “OK, that’s fine, I will just shoot you on Friday.” The private forum was monitored by a member of the Pokemon Company International, who alerted Hynes’ private security, who in turn passed the information along to the Boston police’s Regional Intelligence Center.

“Prior to the event this weekend, our community of players made us aware of a security issue,” the Pokemon Company International said in a statement Sunday. “We gathered information and gave it as soon as possible to the authorities at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center who acted swiftly and spearheaded communication with the Boston Police Department. Due to quick action, the potential threat was resolved. The Pokemon Company International takes the safety of our fans seriously and will continue to ensure proper security measures are a priority.”

Stumbo had also posted a photo of the guns to a Facebook group titled “Mayhem Pokemon Crew,” with the caption, “Kevin Norton and I are ready for Worlds Boston here we come!!!” When another user wished them good luck, Norton responded, “With killing the competition?”

Stumbo and Norton will be held without bail until a September 1 dangerousness hearing.