Community reaction to prevented Pokemon massacre

The threats referenced Columbine and the Boston Marathon bombings

James Stumbo, Kevin Norton, Steven Goldwyn, left, and John O'Neill, Jr.
James Stumbo, second from left, and Kevin Norton, right, both of Iowa, stand in court during their arraignment at Boston Municipal Court in Boston, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015 with their lawyers Steven Goldwyn, left, and John O'Neill, Jr., second from right. Stumbo and Norton were arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and other firearms charges after allegedly threatening the Pokémon World Championships at Hynes Convention Center in Boston. (Chitose Suzuki/Boston Herald via AP, Pool)

(CNN) – Two Iowans made national headlines after Boston Police say a potential mass shooting was thwarted on Sunday.

18-year-old Kevin Norton and 27-year-old James Stumbo drove over 1,300 miles to Boston for the World Pokémon Championships.

Boston Police say the Hynes Convention Center was part of a violent plot. Friends tell KCCI Norton was kicked out of an online forum and threatened to shoot the forum’s moderator last Friday. Police recovered a rifle, a shotgun, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from their car.

Andy Bircher knows Norton from playing another card game, Yu-Gi-Oh. “I never would expect that you know that Kevin would be some sort of mass killer.

“He was just a nice kid that liked playing cards. I mean he was pretty serious about his card playing.”

Norton just graduated from Ames High School. School officials did not have any comment.

Lincoln Saxton is a junior, and also worked with Norton at a local grocery store. “He was just doing funny jokes all the time. He never seemed like he wanted to hurt anyone.”

At Shield Comics and Games, owner Chris Pellack says the pair has come into his store before. “They came in joked around, messed around with people, they certainly didn’t seem the type to go threatening people on Facebook or anywhere else.”

Boston Police said Monday the suspects’ threats online referenced Columbine and the Boston Marathon bombings. A moderator for the event saw the postings and authorities were notified.

The two men were stopped by police as they tried to register for the event Thursday of last week. Tuesday in court, they were denied bail.

Copyright 2015 CNN

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