Society

Utah Shopping Center Sues Man Who Plotted Mass Shooting; Claims Threats Brought ‘Bad Publicity’ and Safety Concerns

| by Courtney Nunes

City Creek Center in Salt Lake City has filed a lawsuit against a man who planned to commit a mass shooting at the shopping center this week.

Jack Harry Stiles, 42, confessed to a hospital crisis worker last month that he was planning to “randomly shoot and kill people” at City Creek on Sept. 25, the anniversary of his mother’s death.

City Creek is a $1.7 billion shopping center, and spans two city blocks across the street from a Mormon temple. 

According to a police report, Stiles “expressed concern that if it is busy when the shooting begins, people will run everywhere making it difficult for him to select and shoot.” Stiles also told investigators that he planned to open fire at a movie theater across town and then wire a bomb underneath a city bus.

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Stiles told police he would buy two automatic handguns with silencers and five extra magazines per gun. He had also been researching bomb construction, police wrote.

On Sept. 23, Stiles was booked on charges of terrorism. He is currently jailed on a $1 million bail, and had not yet entered a plea to the terrorism charges.

Now, the shopping center is seeking at least $300,000 in damages and a permanent court order preventing Stiles from coming within 4,000 feet of the mall. This lawsuit came just two days after Stiles’ arrest, the Press noted.

Attorneys for City Creek claim that “a significant amount of media attention has been drawn” to the shopping center as a result of this case, and that many employees and customers are concerned for their safety.

Mass shooting victims have often sued the owners of the location establishments, noted the Press. However, it is unclear if there are any cases in which the property itself has filed a lawsuit against the person plotting the shooting.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune