A Missouri man was arrested Tuesday after authorities say he sent an email threatening to “kill every gay person” he could at St. Louis’ upcoming PrideFest.
Edward A. Terry, 49, of Overland, has been charged with making a terrorist threat, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was jailed in lieu of $20,000 cash bail.
Court documents obtained by the Post-Dispatch allege Terry created a fake email account and sent an email to a parade planner for PrideSTL that stated he would “come to pride fest with (his) guns to kill every gay person (he) could before (he) killed himself.” The planner immediately contacted the FBI.
Investigators traced the account to Terry’s cellphone, the newspaper reported.
When questioned, Terry told detectives he used the name of a woman he used to live with to create the fake account. He had recently been kicked out of his home in Overland, court records said.
People castigated authorities for granting Terry bond before the pride parade, which is scheduled for later this month.
“In case anyone was wondering the price Missouri sets on the lives of everyone at a pride parade, it’s $20,000,” one person wrote on Twitter. “This man is somehow eligible for bail BEFORE the pride parade, despite saying he’s going to kill as many gay people there as he can.”
A woman wrote that the St. Louis parade was the first she was planning on attending prior to the threat. She said people like Terry make her hate the world she lives in.
“How is it that he’s not being held ‘no bond?’” another tweet read.
Author Tim Wise wrote: “But remember, the really oppressed are those poor straight Christians who are being ‘forced’ to bake cakes for the gays.”
According to PrideSTL, PrideFest is one of the most well-attended LGBTQ events in the Midwest. In 2011, the Post-Dispatch estimated 85,000 attended the festival over the entire weekend.
The Associated Press reported that St. Louis’ pride parade has already garnered attention this year after organizers said they would not allow uniformed police to march with participants. The reason given was that this year’s parade coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that fueled the LGBTQ movement.
Organizers said Tuesday they were backing down, the AP reported.
The Stonewall riots began when New York City police officers raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay nightclub in Greenwich Village, in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969. According to History.com, the raid led to six days of protests and violent clashes with police.
Stonewall Inn was declared a national monument in 2016.
After decades of police officials refusing to condemn the actions of officers involved, New York City police Commissioner James P. O’Neill apologized earlier this month for the NYPD’s actions at Stonewall.
“It would be irresponsible of me as we go through World Pride Month not to speak of the events at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969,” O’Neill said during an event at police headquarters. “I’m certainly not going to stand up here and pretend to be an expert on what happened at Stonewall. I do know what happened should not have happened.
“The actions taken by the NYPD were wrong, plain and simple. The actions and the laws were discriminatory and oppressive and, for that, I apologize.”
Marty Zuniga, vice president of St. Louis’ PrideFest, told the AP that organizers “work hard to produce an event that is safe for all participants.”
“PrideFest takes all threats seriously and works with local law enforcement,” Zuniga said.
He declined to comment on the ongoing investigation into Terry’s alleged threat.