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He threatened to ‘wipe the whole gay community out,’ Tampa police say

A spurned man called himself the ‘annihilator’ of Tampa’s gay community. Now he’s in jail.
Ralph Perkins, 50, faces a charge of making a written threat to conduct a mass shooting, according to Tampa police.
Ralph Perkins, 50, faces a charge of making a written threat to conduct a mass shooting, according to Tampa police. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Dec. 19, 2019
Updated Dec. 19, 2019

TAMPA — A 50-year-old man facing rejection on the dating app Grindr threatened to attack the city’s gay community and then kill himself, according to Tampa police.

Ralph Perkins was arrested Wednesday on a charge of making a written threat to conduct a mass shooting. He is also a registered sex offender, according to state records, as a result of a 2004 arrest in Alabama.

“Perkins did not have any known immediate access to firearms and no weapons were confiscated during the arrest," Tampa police spokesperson Eddy Durkin said in an email to the Tampa Bay Times. "However, we cannot predict what he would have done had he not been arrested.”

Perkins told a witness that he was depressed and had stomach cancer.

He made the threats Monday after his offer for an unidentified person to move in with him was rejected, according to the arrest report. Police said Perkins wrote these threats:

“I like to take a gun I like to wipe the whole gay community out in Tampa and then kill myself" and “That’s going to be my ultimate present to Tampa Florida is the annihilator the gay community before I kill myself,” according to police.

Officers confirmed that Perkins sent the threats from his phone and took him into custody just after midnight Wednesday.

He has a history of arrests for failing to properly register as a sex offender and giving law enforcement false information, jail records show. He was booked into the Hillsborough County jail, where he was being held Thursday without bail.