A 19-year-old resident of Pinellas Park, Florida, Robert Jacob Trout III, was arrested on November 23, 2023, for issuing threats of a mass shooting on the New York City subway through a social media post.
In a disturbing video posted on Instagram, Trout was seen brandishing multiple firearms, including two Glock pistols, and ammunition magazines. He ominously stated his intent to kill at least 60 people on the subway. The video raised immediate concerns due to Trout’s reckless handling of the weapons.
Law enforcement, acting on an anonymous tip, apprehended Trout and discovered in his vehicle two Glock-style lower receiver manufacturing molds, devices typically used to create untraceable firearms. Trout, with confirmed ties to New York and plans to relocate there, faced several charges. These include threatening a mass shooting, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, carrying a concealed weapon, and resisting an officer without violence.
Trout’s identification as the individual in the video was confirmed by several people, including his own mother.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office set his bond at $50,000 for the mass shooting threat and $5,000 for the unlawful use of a two-way communication device. The seriousness of the charges reflects the heightened concern over gun violence and the safety of public transportation systems.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) deferred all inquiries to the NYPD and Florida law enforcement, who have yet to comment on the case. This incident underscores the growing challenge of social media as a platform for threatening public safety and the critical importance of community vigilance and intelligence-sharing in preventing potential acts of violence.
Law enforcement agencies, especially the NYPD known for their robust public transportation security, are reviewing and reinforcing safety measures in the subway system. The case highlights the necessity of inter-state cooperation in tackling threats that span multiple jurisdictions and the ongoing efforts by authorities to fully understand the scope and nature of Trout’s threat to public safety.