Public Safety

Former Coe student - arrested in connection with failed mall shooting - to be sentenced in April

News track: Souvannarath pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder

Lindsay Souvannarath arrives at court in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in this file photo from March 6, 2015. Souvannarath and co-conspirator Randall Shepherd were accused of plotting a shopping mall massacre in Halifax in February 2015. (Darren Pittman/Reuters)
Lindsay Souvannarath arrives at court in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in this file photo from March 6, 2015. Souvannarath and co-conspirator Randall Shepherd were accused of plotting a shopping mall massacre in Halifax in February 2015. (Darren Pittman/Reuters)

Former Coe College student Lindsay Souvannarath was arrested Feb. 13, 2015 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Canadian authorities said Souvannarath, then 23, was one of three people who had plotted online to carry out an attack on a Halifax mall.

Souvannarath graduated from Coe in Cedar Rapids in 2014 with a double major in English and creative writing. Those who knew her recalled a quiet woman whose writing took on dark themes.

Online, Souvannarath maintained a Tumblr blog titled “school shooter chic” that featured Nazi imagery as well as references to a Columbine High School shooter. One Coe student told The Gazette Souvannarath had a reputation for being fascinated with Nazism.

WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE

Souvannarath pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder on April 11, 2017, according to Chris Hansen, director of communications for the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service. Her sentencing had been scheduled for October 2017, but was delayed until April 16, Hansen said.

One of her co-conspirators, Randall Shepherd, was sentenced Nov. 22, 2016 to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder.

According to a statement of facts in the Shepherd case, Shepherd and the third co-conspirator, James Gamble, met during their high school years and bonded over “heavy metal music, gore/horror movies, marijuana and a shared fascination with death and morbidity, including school shootings and mass murders.”

Court documents state Gamble and Shepherd were both suicidal and Gamble experienced homicidal thoughts. Gamble eventually began to plot a mass killing in Halifax. Authorities said Gamble tried to recruit Shepherd to his plan, but Shepherd declined.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

In December 2014, Gamble began an online relationship with Souvannarath, who authorities said had a “pre-existing interest in school shootings and Nazism.” The two bonded over Columbine and other mass shootings and Gamble asked if she’d be interested in his plans to commit mass murder.

“Ms. Souvannarath was interested in being his partner and was eager to participate,” court documents state. “They planned their attack in great detail throughout January and early February of 2015.”

According to their plans, Souvannarath was to fly to Halifax on Feb. 13, 2015 and Gamble was to kill his parents before she arrived. They would then carry out their attack at the Halifax Shopping Centre, authorities said. Souvannarath prepared a Tumblr post that would go live and brag about the mass shooting.

Authorities said Shepherd and Gamble also went to the mall in February 2015 and filmed videos of where the attack was to occur. Shepherd made plans to kill himself that Feb. 13, authorities said.

Before the attack could take place, Halifax Regional Police acted on a CrimeStoppers tip and went to Gamble’s home in Timberlea, Nova Scotia. When police asked to speak with him, he shot himself with a hunting rifle, authorities said.

Shepherd and Souvannarath later were arrested at the Stanfield International Airport in Halifax. Authorities said Souvannarath was carrying in her luggage her “death outfit” and two books on serial killers.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.