CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WAVY) — A local social media celebrity was arrested on Monday by Charlottesville police after he made a series of “concerning and threatening” social media posts, including one about the University of Virginia on the day of UVA’s quintuple shooting.
Authorities said in a press release that they don’t believe the posts are linked to Sunday’s quintuple shooting that left three UVA students dead and two others injured, and they’ve arrested the man who they believe is the sole suspect in that case.
Police were alerted about Bryan Silva’s posts around 10:30 a.m. on Monday, the morning that the shooting suspect, Christopher Darnell Jones, was taken into custody following a manhunt.
Silva, 31, was arrested in connection to the posts around 4 p.m. Monday after detectives served a search warrant at his last known address in the 200 block of West Main Street in Charlottesville, not far from the Charlottesville Federal Building.
He was charged with possession or transportation of firearms, firearms ammunition, stun weapons, explosives or concealed weapons by convicted felons and posession of controlled substance.
UVA’s student newspaper, the Cavalier Daily, reported Silva had made several social media posts that appeared to show Silva being in possession of ammunition. Silva was convicted in 2016 for possessing an illegal firearm after a standoff with SWAT officers in which he allegedly pointed a gun at his then girlfriend.
A check of Silva’s social media on Tuesday showed posts related to UVA and with Silva appearing to have ammunition were still up. In a post dated at 4:13 p.m. on Sunday, November 13, hours before the shooting, he said he wanted the UVA community “to know what pain and suffering is” and that would “sell everything I have to make that pain and suffering happen.”
A post from Nov. 10 shows numerous rounds of ammunition.
Those posts led people to believe Silva was possibly connected to Sunday’s shooting, with comments dated Monday morning on his Facebook linking local police and media. Police have said they don’t believe there’s a link between Silva and Jones.
However Silva was known to UVA’s threat assessment team, UVA President Jim Ryan said in a statement on Tuesday, saying “previous behavior resulted in Mr. Silva being trespassed from all UVA Grounds.”
“I know many had concerns about this, and I want to pass along this news, which I hope will bring some comfort,” Ryan said in a tweet. “Thanks to our partners in Charlottesville.”
Silva is being held at this time without bond at the Albemarle – Charlottesville Regional Jail.
Anyone with information in the investigation into Silva is asked to call the Charlottesville Police Department at (434) 970-3280 or Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (434) 977-4000.