Local News

Cary man had violent history before terrorist threat

Posted February 22, 2017 4:50 p.m. EST
Updated January 22, 2018 1:42 p.m. EST

— Garrett Asher Grimsley, of 3116 Lakeside View Court in Cary, allegedly posted an online public message on the messaging app Whisper, stating "don't go to Cary tomorrow," on Feb. 19, authorities said in paperwork released Tuesday. He now faces federal charges.

Grimsley grew up in the Wilmington area, and criminal records revealed Grimsley was convicted in 2010 of assaulting a government employee.

He graduated from Hoggard High School and went to Cape Fear Community College before transferring to UNC-Wilmington in 2014.

A university spokesperson confirmed he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science in 2016 and worked as an undergrad student employee for two years. He moved to Cary and began working as a software developer with the Morrisville tech firm SciQuest.

Federal affidavits showed Grimsley sent out a warning on the social media site "Whisper" Sunday – "don't go to Cary tomorrow" … "Say your prayers, sleep and watch the news tomorrow. It will only be the beginning."

The threat mentioned "non-muslims" who Grimsley said had "trampled his rights for too long." A confidential witness tipped off federal authorities. .

Agents raided Grimsley's Cary apartment to find him in the process of encrypting his computer. A warning typed out to a friend on Facebook said "I'm actually going to get raided … hurry up, van is outside."

Agents recovered an AK-47 rifle, 4 magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from his apartment.

WRAL reached out to Islamic centers in the area, and it's unclear right now whether he had any ties to any of them.

The Islamic Association of Raleigh released a statement regarding acts of violence.

"The Islamic Association of Raleigh strongly condemns terrorism. We stand arm and arm with our fellow Americans in renouncing any twisted mindset that would falsely claim to justify acts of senseless violence. As members of a diverse and vibrant community, we are committed to working together with our neighbors and fellow Americans for the common good," a spokesperson said in a statement.