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Lawmakers concerned with bail laws after Syracuse-area Tops grocery store threat

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A 20-year-old man from Jamesville has been arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat after threatening to carry out a mass-shooting at a Manlius grocery store. Zachary Mullen used the social media platform Discord to post his plans to attack the Tops in Manlius. Although he did not follow through with the threat, police believe he might have. An extreme risk protection order is in place, preventing Mullen from having access to any type of firearm for a year.

Mullen is accused of a violent felony but is currently at home with a GPS ankle monitor, awaiting his next court date. The charge of making a terroristic threat is considered incredibly serious by Republican Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, who said in a Zoom interview with CNYCentral, “In light of the shooting that took place in Buffalo at the Tops, the fact that this could happen in Syracuse, I think it’s a very scary circumstance. And let’s all be thankful that this didn’t come to fruition.”

State Senator John Mannion pointed out that violent felonies, including making a terroristic threat, are bail-eligible according to New York State law. However, CNY Central’s past reporting on the Manlius case indicates that the judge could not remand Mullen without bail after his arrest. Mannion and Barclay both agree that those who reported the Manlius Tops threat and law enforcement that responded resulted in nobody getting hurt, the opposite of the tragedy that played out in Buffalo.

“This is so similar to that, I think it’s really scary. And again, I’m thrilled that it obviously didn’t come to fruition but that doesn’t mean we just let our guard down,” Barclay said. Both Mannion and Barclay are hopeful that bail laws in the state will continue to strengthen.