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Guy's Joker 'Performance' Ends in Charge of Terrorist Threat

'I'm planning on killing a bunch of people,' Jeremy Garnier said on livestream
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2020 7:56 AM CST

(Newser) – A man in a Joker costume threatened to kill people on a nearly hourlong livestream as he drove around a St. Louis suburb on Monday, according to University City police. "I'm going to start killing people until this reaches a thousand [viewers] and once it reaches a thousand, I'm going to go out in public and I'm going to kill more," a man dressed as the Batman villain says in the footage aired on Facebook. It shows him first putting on the costume and makeup in a bedroom, then smoking a pipe as he drives around, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Police eventually ask him to leave a mall due to his face paint. He's then permitted inside a restaurant, where he tells the bartender he wants a Sprite. "I can't be inebriated when I'm planning on killing a bunch of people," he says.

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He claims he's unarmed—"except [for] all these bombs"—then identifies himself as Jeremy Joseph Garnier. Authorities arrested the 51-year-old at the restaurant around 8:15pm, as the livestream continued. But friends say Garnier is a performance artist who didn't plan on hurting anyone. Throughout the stream, he says his goal is to raise awareness about the opioid crisis, the Washington Post reports. "The attention I seek is to take over the world with a new concept: That opiates aren't cool," he says at one point, per the Post. Daniel Hill at the Riverfront Times encourages viewers to watch the full stream, which he says "seems to bear out" the friends' account. A GoFundMe page has been launched in the hope of paying for a lawyer for Garnier, who has been charged with making a terrorist threat and is being held without bond. (Read more threats stories.)

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