JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Police say they stopped a man from carrying out a planned mass shooting at a Florida Islamic center.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams announced Monday that police arrested 69-year-old Bernardino Gawala Bolatete after he tried to buy a gun silencer from an undercover officer.

Police began investigating Bolatete after receiving a tip from a confidential source that Bolatete was planning a mass shooting at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida.

An undercover officer contacted him and arranged the sale of the silencer. During taped conversations, Bolatete repeated his plans for the shooting.

He was arrested Friday after the silencer was delivered.

Williams said Bolatete already had the weaponry necessary to carry out the attack.

Bolatete is being held by the FBI and more charges could be filed. It was not known if he has an attorney.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.