A gun-carrying student who was arrested at the University of New Haven kept newspaper clippings about mass shootings in his home and a large ammunition cache in a padlocked bedroom, police said Wednesday.
William Dong, 22, of Fairfield, Conn., was charged with illegal possession and transport of an assault weapon as well as breach of peace after officials said he was seen getting out of his sport utility vehicle with a rifle Tuesday and walking toward the university campus in West Haven, Conn.
The campus was placed on lockdown and thoroughly searched, even after police said they found Dong on campus and arrested him. Police said Dong was carrying two handguns, for which he apparently had pistol permits, when he was detained.
West Haven police Sgt. David Tammaro told the Los Angeles Times that police also found a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle with a collapsible stock under the front seat of Dong's Toyota Rav 4.
That's the same brand and type of rifle that Adam Lanza used last December in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in nearby Newtown, Conn. With some exceptions, Connecticut residents are no longer allowed to own or buy such guns after the state passed tough new gun-control laws in response to the Newtown shooting, which left 20 students and six staff members dead.
Police said they found several ammunition magazines in Dong's truck, which was parked in a nearby supermarket parking lot, and in his Fairfield home, where officials said they discovered 2,700 rounds of ammo in a padlocked bedroom.
Police said they also discovered newspaper clippings about mass shootings.
Tammaro told The Times that some of the articles were about the July 2012 Aurora, Colo., massacre, in which the shooter also used an AR-15 rifle and other weapons in killing 12 people and wounding dozens more in a movie theater.
A cover photo on a Facebook page under Dong's name featured the Joker character from the "Dark Knight" Batman movie; the Aurora gunman opened fire during the premiere of a sequel, "The Dark Knight Rises," and police said the shooter, James Holmes, identified himself as "the Joker" after his arrest.
West Haven is about 25 miles from Newtown. Investigators recently revealed that the Sandy Hook shooter, Lanza, had also kept news clippings and a spreadsheet of mass shootings in his home before going on his rampage.
The University of New Haven scare is the third U.S. college campus lockdown in recent weeks. It comes one week after a possible prank call put nearby Yale University on lockdown and about four weeks after a student's Halloween costume prompted reports of a gunman at Central Connecticut State University's New Britain campus.
The West Haven incident is the only incident that was substantiated.
Dong was being held on $500,000 bond and was scheduled to be arraigned in Milford on Wednesday morning.
"West Haven Police want to thank our community for notifying the police immediately, which led to this individuals quick capture," the department said in a statement.