An Arizona man is charged with inciting a race war with mass shootings at a rap concert in Atlanta

NEW DLEHI: Mark Adams Prieto, a 58-year-old man from Prescott, Arizona, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to an alleged plot to carry out a mass shooting of African Americans at a rap concert in Atlanta. According to federal authorities, Prieto’s goal was to provoke a race war ahead of the upcoming presidential elections.

The indictment follows an extensive investigation by the FBI, which began in October after a confidential source reported that Prieto had expressed a desire to spark a race war prior to the election. The source, who had spoken with Prieto at several gun shows over a three-year period, told authorities that Prieto’s comments had become increasingly alarming, including advocating a mass shooting targeting blacks, Jews or Muslims.

Prieto reportedly believed that martial law would be imposed shortly after the 2024 elections and that a mass shooting would have to take place beforehand. He reportedly asked the source if they were “ready to kill some people,” indicating he planned to recruit others to help in the attack, NBC reports.

Prieto, a vendor at gun shows in Prescott, allegedly used cash deals and transactions to acquire firearms while evading the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.

During the FBI’s surveillance of Prieto from January to March, he revealed his plan to the source and an undercover FBI agent at a gun show in Phoenix. Prieto focused on Atlanta because he believed that as crime worsened in other cities, African Americans had moved there, making it less conservative than in the past.

He chose a rap concert because of the expected high concentration of African Americans and planned to leave Confederate flags after the shooting to send a message of retaliation. Prieto reportedly wanted to show “no mercy, no quarter” and emphasized the importance of a high body count.

Prieto discussed the types of weapons he planned to use and suggested traveling to Atlanta before the attack to stockpile weapons in the area. He specifically mentioned that the attack should take place after Super Tuesday to ensure that the election candidates were known. In February, while under surveillance at another gun show in Phoenix, Prieto allegedly sold a firearm to the undercover officer for $2,000.

The case against Prieto highlights the ongoing threat of racially motivated violence and the importance of vigilance and cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the public in preventing such attacks.