Family members said Derek Eitel, 23, was stunned when officers showed up at his home, put him in handcuffs and locked him in jail.
Using his cellphone while at work in a Titusville, Fla. business, investigators suspect Eitel posed a message on Facebook reading “5 likes and I’ll go shoot up Disney and hang myself.”
Investigators said the alleged threat was visible to up to 848 members of a Facebook group and it was made on the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
“With it being near the anniversary of the Pulse shooting and knowing that Disney was one of those targets as well, that adds a little bit more to this,” said Tod Goodyear with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Eitel’s father said his son is a good kid who made a terrible mistake. The father said Eitel suffers from autism and is something as a loner. He quoted his son as saying he was sorry about what happened.
A police reports notes the home where 23-year-old Eitel lives with his parents has five guns locked in a safe. The father said Eitel does not know the combination to the safe and has never shown an interest in guns.
Investigators learned of the Facebook post from two group members who called them.
“These people saw something that distressed them, that they saw as a potential threat and they did the right thing. They contacted law enforcement,” Goodyear said.
Eitel was charged with making written threats to kill or do bodily harm. He was being held at the Brevard County Jail under $100,000 bond.