Justin Mohn legally purchased a gun just one day before he shot his father dead and decapitated his corpse in a deranged attack fueled by his hostile views against the federal government, according to authorities.
Officials with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office in Pennsylvania held a press conference on Friday to discuss the gruesome circumstances of Mr Mohn’s alleged attack on his 68-year-old father Michael Mohn, a federal employee.
DA Jennifer Schorn confirmed that the victim’s wife Denice Mohn made the gruesome discovery when she arrived back to the home she shared with her husband and adult son at around 7pm on Tuesday.
Responding officers found Mohn’s body in the first-floor bathroom and his head with a gunshot wound inside a plastic bag in a kitchen pot placed in a first-floor bedroom, according to a police affidavit.
Ms Mohn’s son was later arrested in connection at a military base that he had forced his way into after fleeing the crime scene.
Ms Schorn revealed that Mr Mohn allegedly shot his father dead with a 9mm handgun he had legally bought on 29 January – one day before the attack.
Mr Mohn reportedly gave up his medical marijuana card in the days that preceded the purchase in order to become eligible, the DA said.
“There was nothing legally precluding him from purchasing that gun,” Ms Schorn said, pushing against suggestions that Mr Mohn’s actions may have been the result of a mental health crisis.
“It also shows the clear state of mind he was in, having planned what he ultimately carried out,” she said.
After the attack, Mr Mohn allegedly severed his father’s head and then displayed it in a disturbing YouTube video in which he also launched violent calls for FBI, Border Patrol, and US Marshals employees to be “tortured for information” and “publicly executed”.
Mr Mohn called his father, a 20-year veteran engineer with the US Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District, a “traitor” who “is going to hell” for betraying his country, according to Ms Schorn’s description of the graphic video that remained online for six hours after the murder. He also leaked personal information about a local judge, whose name was not released by authorities during the press conference and put a bounty on the judge’s head.
The video, titled “Mohn’s Militia, a call of arms for American Patriots,” had more than 5,000 views before it was taken down.
“He demands violence against all federal employees but exempts state governors and state employees,” Ms Schorn said. “... From an evidentiary value, this video is very important, but it’s quite horrifying how many views it had before we understand it was taken down.”
Ms Schorn said that Mr Mohn allegedly travelled to Fort Indiantown Gap after killing his father, drove past barricades and jumped a fence to gain access inside the military base.
Mr Schorn had the loaded gun on him at the time of his capture, but he was arrested without incident. According to Ms Schorn, law enforcement was able to locate Mr Mohn after his phone pinged near the military base and his father’s Toyota Corolla was spotted outside the facility.
After he was taken into custody, he reportedly stated that he wanted to “mobilise the National Guard” to raise arms against the government, and demanded to speak with Governor John Shapiro to convince him “to join forces” with him, Ms Schorn said.
Ms Schorn noted that the suspect had no known history of mental illness or involuntary hospitalisations. However, officials declined to answer questions about calls made by neighbours regarding their concern for Mr Mohn’s behaviour.
It also emerged during the press conference that Mr Mohn’s former employer had tried to flag his erratic behaviour to local police last year.
Middletown Township Police Chief Joe Bartorilla said his department could not proceed with an investigation because the employer was “seeking legal advice” on how to terminate Mr Mohn.
“Me and my entire department ... our hearts ache for the Mohn family,” Middletown Township Police Chief Bartorilla, who met with Denice Mohn on Thursday, said. “The [Mohns] have a lot of neighbours and close friends who care about them.”
It remains unclear whether Mr Mohn will be charged at the federal level. He is expected to appear in court next on 8 February.