Larry McQuilliams, the man who fired off over one hundred rounds of ammunition in downtown Austin on Friday, held racist views and was a homegrown extremist. McQuilliams terrorized the city on Friday when he fired on the Mexican Consulate, a Federal Courthouse and the Austin Police Headquarters during the afternoon. McQuilliams was eventually brought down by a police bullet after he fired upon the police station.
Today, police released information about McQuilliams. Austin Police Chief Art Acevado stated that McQuilliams had “hate in his heart” and described him as ”just an American terrorist trying to terrorize our people.” Although police remain uncertain about the exact motives for the shooting, they do know that McQuilliams held extreme racist views and that he was apparently upset about US immigration policy.
Furthermore, McQuilliams had ties to the Phineas Priesthood, a violent Christian Identity group that opposes “race mixing,” gay marriage, abortion and taxes. The group is also rabidly anti-Semitic. In the 1990s, persons who identified as members of the Priesthood, committed a string of bank robberies and bombings, including a bombing attempt at a Planned Parenthood office in Spokane, Washington.
McQuilliams had a criminal record including serving time in prison for a bank robbery. He was also arrested in 1992, in Austin, for aggravated robbery, but that charge was ultimately dismissed. His Facebook page included favorable references to Ron Paul, but overall he did not post much political content.
Chillingly, police discovered a map in his home identifying nearly three dozen potential targets that he may have intended to attack. He was also allegedly attempting to make homemade bombs, but apparently without much success. While no motive has yet been officially declared, McQuilliams was clearly a disturbed individual who held extreme right-wing and White Supremacist views. Police are continuing the investigation into the case and hopefully more about his motives will be uncovered. In the meantime, the city of Austin can breathe a sigh of relief that McQuilliams’ desire to inflict terror was hampered by his incompetence in carrying out his plans.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.