/ Modified apr 12, 2024 2:17 p.m.

Man who threatened UA mass shooting pleads guilty

Michael Pengchung Lee sent threatening messages to members of Greek life last October.

University of Arizona Old Main March 2024 White flowers are planted around the historic fountain in front of the Old Main building on the University of Arizona campus.
AC Swedbergh / AZPM

A man who threatened on social media last year to commit a mass shooting at the University of Arizona is facing up to five years in prison.

Michael Pengchung Lee, 27, pleaded guilty this week to charges of interstate threats. According to the Arizona District Attorney’s Office, he admitted he sent multiple messages on Snapchat that threatened a “Mass tragedy and atrocity” at the University of Arizona in October 2023.

According to the interim complaint, Lee was a self-identified incel, or “involuntary celibate,” a term usually used to describe young men who blame women and society for their inability to find a romantic partner and often harbor extreme resentment towards those who have functioning social relationships.

Shortly after his arrest, Lee was federally indicted. A judge determined he was a danger to the community and was held without bond until his trial.

The complaint also says Lee announced his intention to buy an AR-15 in his messages, and that he wanted to get revenge on “all the chads and stacies.” These are terms adopted by incel communities to describe sexually active men and women and led investigators to believe Lee was targeting sorority and fraternity members.

Lee’s sentencing is scheduled for July, where he could face a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

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