A man suspected of robbing banks in three states and shooting and killing a Mississippi police officer is the same man who was convicted in Oklahoma City in 2010 of threatening to kill President Barack Obama, federal authorities said.
That man, Mario Edward Garnett, was shot and killed by police Saturday after robbing a bank in Phoenix.
Garnett, 40, was living in Oklahoma City in August 2010, said U.S. Secret Service spokesman Max Millien, when he posted this threat on the official White House website:
“If you order a strike on Iran, Im going to come up there and blow your brains out on national TV. You scheming hypocrite. You don't mean anything to me. Youre just one dirt bag out of a handful plotting evil behind closed doors. Ive got plans for some of you, here shortly. … GOD has given Me a mandate. Glory belongs to GOD for all to come.”
Garnett pleaded guilty in December 2010 to threatening the president and was sentenced in June 2011 to eight months in federal prison. He was ordered to get mental health care upon his release and was not allowed to own a gun.
Court documents show Garnett violated the terms of his supervised release in the fall of 2011 and was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison. The documents do not make clear what Garnett did to violate his terms. He was released from federal custody about five months ago.
Court records in Oklahoma show Garnett had been evicted from his residence twice, once in 2004 and again in 2006. Garnett was also taken to court for indebtedness, once for less than $1,500 and another time for less than $10,000.
Phoenix police spokesman James Holmes said at a news conference Sunday afternoon that Garnett was from the Midwest, had served for four years in the U.S. Army and appeared to have no friends or relatives in Arizona. It is not clear how long he lived in Oklahoma.
He was shot after leaving a Compass Bank branch in the near-northwest part of the city when he was encountered by officers, raised his gun and started firing. No other injuries were reported in that shooting.
Authorities say they have connected Garnett to a Dec. 23 bank robbery attempt in Atlanta, a bank robbery later that same day in Tupelo, Miss., and the shooting death of one Tupelo police officer and the wounding of another.
Contributing: The Associated Press