Authorities in Ventura County arrested a 27-year-old man for a possible drug charge after he allegedly caught their attention with social media posts that tried to link the November 2018 mass shooting in Thousand Oaks to a foreign militant group.
Thousand Oaks police last week learned about a resident’s “rambling and disturbing social media posts” that apparently fabricated a connection between a foreign organization and last year’s shooting at a local Borderline Bar & Grill that left 13 people, including the gunman, dead.
Investigators soon connected the posts to Eric Plambeck.
The Sheriff’s Office said although the posts did not communicate a direct threat, they were “disturbing, insensitive and concerning to the Thousand Oaks Police Department and a community still trying to heal from a historically tragic event.”
Officers quickly worked on finding Plambeck, the Sheriff’s Office said. On Saturday evening, patrol deputies located the suspect in the 2800 block of Camino Dos Rios in Newbury Park.
They determined that Plambeck was under the influence of a controlled substance and detained him, the Sheriff’s Office said. During an interview, he told detectives that he did not intend to threaten anyone.
Authorities established that the 27-year-old did not violate any laws with the social media posts, said the Sheriff’s Office.
The agency did not immediately respond to a request for additional details about the postings, but the Los Angeles Times describes a Facebook entry that read, “‘Paris event’- BorederLine ‘Shooting’ ‘chuting’ event Hoax undermining funded par Islamic state.”
The message was accompanied by a screenshot of an L.A. Times article about the mass shooting, photos of the shooter and one of the victims, and images of Bible verses, the paper reported.
Plambeck was booked at the Ventura County Main Jail on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs, county records show. Bail was set at $15,000, and he is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon.
Ian David Long, the 28-year-old man who killed 12 people in the Borderline attack, went on social media during the Nov. 7 shooting to post about his mental state, a law enforcement official has said. Long had served in Afghanistan before his rampage, which ended when he apparently killed himself as officers approached.
As the community reeled in the hours that followed the attack, the massive Woolsey Fire erupted miles away.
Investigators have yet to release details about Long’s possible motive months after the shooting.