A Texas man accused of opening fire outside a Dallas courthouse uploaded right-wing memes to Facebook, including memes about Nazism and the Confederacy.
Authorities said Brian Clyde, 22, attacked the Earle Cabell federal courthouse Monday morning before law enforcement killed him. No one else was reported injured. A Dallas Morning News photograph of Clyde shows him holding a semi-automatic rifle and wearing a belt full of ammunition. He appears to have uploaded to his Facebook page a picture of similar magazines on Saturday. Elsewhere on the page, he shared memes, some of which suggested racist or misogynist views.
Authorities did not offer a possible motive for Clyde’s rampage and declined to comment on his social media presence.
Wearing a ski mask and what appeared to be a bulletproof vest, Clyde reportedly opened fire on bystanders near the courthouse parking lot. He then reportedly fired on the building, shattering the glass front doors. Police later detonated what they described as a suspicious device in the car Clyde parked nearby.
Last week, Clyde uploaded a Facebook video suggesting plans with a gun.
“I don’t know how much longer I have, but a storm is coming. However, I’m not without defense,” he said in the brief video, pulling out a rifle. “I’m fuckin’ ready. Let’s do it.”
On Saturday, he uploaded a picture of 10 gun magazines. On Sunday, he uploaded a picture of a sword with the caption “A modern gladius to defend the modern Republic.”
Clyde served in the Army from 2015 to 2017, though details of his discharge were not available. Del Mar College listed him as a graduate with as associate’s degree in May.
He frequently posted memes that suggested familiarity with the far-right internet.
“When Libertarians and NatSocs meet on the battlefield during the Boogaloo,” read the caption of one meme, which shows the Power Rangers and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teaming up. (“NatSoc” is short for “national socialist,” a Nazi ideology. )
In late May, he posted a meme about quitting meme groups that forbid bullying, transphobia, and racism. An April meme suggested “the solution to all of our nation’s political problems” by incorporating some libertarian and eco-friendly ideologies into far-right authoritarianism, represented by a green flag with a Nazi swastika in the middle.
A May 4 post defended Infowars founder Alex Jones for his claims about vast networks of pedophiles. Other posts suggested transphobic and anti-feminist views.
Multiple memes referenced the Confederate flag. In November, he posted a picture of a person wearing full medieval armor while holding a gun and an anime body pillow. While not inherently political, anime body pillows are a running joke in the 4chan-right. He also participated in medieval live action roleplaying, which is also apolitical but has a large fanbase on the far right.
Other posts indicate a heavy involvement in gun culture. He posted about loving gun shows, made an ASMR video with an AR-15, and in January posted about using incomplete lowers “to get around California's asinine gun laws.” Incomplete lowers refer to partially-built guns that can be purchased and assembled in states that prohibit buying the completed guns.
In a February 2018 post, he indicated some of his political views. “Hobbies: shooting commies and Manifest Destiny,” he wrote.
On Monday afternoon, workers at the courthouse were being ushered back into the building by officers with the Dallas Police Department, the FBI and ATF. The parking lot in which Clyde was killed remained cordoned off by several blocks Monday afternoon as business returned to normal in greater downtown. A heavy police presence remained as the lunch hour passed and officers worked inside a large perimeter of several blocks surrounding the courthouse, collecting evidence.