Mother of Casa Grande teen accused of threatening mass shooting defends son

A Casa Grande mother says her son has autism and didn't mean it when he said in a video game chat he'd carry out a mass shooting.
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 9:53 PM MST
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CASA GRANDE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The mother of the Casa Grande teen accused of threatening a mass shooting is defending her son. Charlotte Manley said her son, Joshua Bowen, 19, is autistic and would never hurt anyone. She explained he didn’t understand the consequences of what he was writing online.

“I was shocked and in disbelief,” Manley said. “He’s not a violent person, he’s very quiet and calm. He’s very sensitive,” she continued. Manley said he made the comments in a chat for the video game Call of Duty. Casa Grande Police said someone reported those comments to the FBI, who in turn alerted them.

According to police, Bowen threatened to shoot up a local high school, police station and movie theater. They said he also threatened family and friends and praised the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. “It’s possible he made the comments not realizing how it will affect the rest of his life,” Manley said.

Arizona’s Family asked her if her son had access to a gun. She responded, “no, he does not. I do not own one.” While police said no guns were found on him during his arrest Sunday, they stressed their information leads them to believe he likely could get one.

It begs the question of how law enforcement determines the difference between inappropriate comments and threats. “To determine whether or not a threat is credible, oftentimes law enforcement will of course, conduct research on the person making the threat, look at their social media profiles, determine if they’ve made similar threats,” James Egelston, a former FBI agent, said. He now owns Baseline Investigations.

“The fact that a person made a threatening comment or posted a threat online is sufficient grounds for law enforcement to launch an investigation and if it’s appropriate for that case to be prosecuted,” he explained.

Egelston was a special agent with the FBI. He worked with them for 27 years. He said all of us need to remain vigilant. “If they know of someone around them who has made inappropriate comments who has taken any step toward acquiring weapons out of context, something they’re not usually interested in; someone who’s doing research online to try to identify where someone lives, to try to identify specific information about a school or shopping mall, anything that seems unusual or out of the ordinary, I would urge them to contact law enforcement,” Egelston said.