A teenager who saw Anders Breivik and those behind the Columbine High School massacre as his “poster boys” has been convicted of attempting to possess a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.
Kyle Davies, 19, ordered a Glock 17 handgun and five rounds of ammunition from an online gun dealer on the dark web after developing a “deep and persistent” interest in mass shootings during his A-Levels.
The order was intercepted by Homeland Security at Newark Airport in New York, with police arresting Davies at his home in Gloucester after delivering a dummy package to him.
A jury at Gloucester Crown Court unanimously convicted Davies of attempting to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life and attempting to possess five rounds of ammunition with intent to endanger life.
Their verdicts followed a two-week trial at the court.
Davies insisted he had bought the gun and ammunition to kill himself and was not planning a mass shooting.
But when officers searched his bedroom after his arrest, they discovered handwritten notes relating to planning a massacre and Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.
A USB drive contained thousands of pages of documents relating to massacres and explosives, including a number of how-to guides.
Officers from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit said they had stopped Davies at “phase one” of his plan and found no evidence that he had identified a target.
Judge Paul Cook will sentence Davies at a later date, telling the defendant that he required reports to assess the level of danger he poses to the public.
Detective Inspector Kevin Till, of the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “The depth of research Davies had carried out and the extent of his planning under what he himself termed ‘phase one’ leaves us in no doubt he was intending to follow in the footsteps of the murderers he idolised.
“The intervention by Homeland Security at Newark Airport undoubtedly led us to a very dangerous individual.
“A meticulous investigation, closely supported by forensic experts and the CPS, has clearly shown his intent to harm others and, ultimately, ensured he never had the opportunity to move on to ‘phase two’.”
Howard Phillips of the CPS said: “Davies’ notes did not identify a target and did not demonstrate an ideology or aim that would support a charge under terrorism legislation.
“The challenge for the CPS was therefore to prove that his intent when purchasing the hand gun was to endanger the lives of others, and not just to take his own life as he claimed.
“We will thankfully never know what the consequences would have been had the gun and ammunition Davies attempted to import actually made it into his hands.”
James Mancuso, of Homeland Security Investigations in London, said: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with our UK law enforcement partners and their fight against firearms trafficking.
“Through this partnership, we have been able to prevent a man from obtaining a firearm and ammunition, which has potentially foiled a mass casualty event.
“We commend the dynamic and impressive work of the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit and other UK law enforcement teams that participated in this operation.
“Their dedication to ensuring the safety of their residents has undoubtedly saved lives.”