The accused would-be killer live-streamed his police chase on Facebook, whilst in possession of nine guns and 20,000 rounds of ammunition.
Things are already pretty tense around the Bay Area, what with the growing coronavirus outbreak and all, so another mass shooting would have been a lot to take. Many of us still have painful memories of the 2017 UPS shooting in Potrero Hill that took the lives of three people, and we apparently almost saw an even more grisly version of that scenario Sunday night. But a huge tragedy was thankfully averted, as the San Jose Mercury News reports that police apprehended the potential shooter who’d allegedly threatened to shoot several of his Sunnyvale UPS station employees. A police raid of 32-year-old suspect Thomas Joseph Andrews’ home found “five ‘tactical-style’ rifles, three handguns, a shotgun, body armor, and a multitude of high-capacity magazines” as well as “20,000 rounds of handgun and rifle ammunition,” according to the Merc.
“It’s scary, the potential damage he could have done with that firepower and ammunition,” Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety captain Dan Pistor told the Mercury News. “This is a great example of what happens when the community engages the police department when they know something’s not right. The story could have been completely different. We really avoided a tragedy.”
KGO has some additional detail that the threatening texts apparently started Sunday, with Andrews allegedly sending co-workers a text of "himself sitting in front of the Sunnyvale UPS facility playing the song ‘Murder on My Mind,’" and another saying “I am capable of incredibly horrific acts.” UPS security reached out to police around 8 p.m. when one specific worker was singled out by photo and home address.
Sunnyvale police then tracked Andrews down via his phone, and attempted to pull him over, but he refused and sped away. He even live streamed his chase when the California Highway Patrol joined pursuit, allegedly saying, “So this is how it ends.” Police were able to pull Andrews over, and a subsequent raid on his home found the nine firearms, the 20,000 rounds of ammo, and a commercial explosive called Tannerite.
UPS has not commented on Andrews’ employment history.
Andrews was booked yesterday on 18 felony counts of criminal threats, including possessing an assault weapon, possessing materials with the intent to make a destructive device, and felony reckless driving. He remains in Santa Clara County Main Jail with $2 million bail, which was increased from an original $500,000 bail, when Andrews refused to be escorted out of the courtroom.