I haven’t talked about Robert Bonelli in a really long time. He was the 24-year-old gunman in the Hudson Valley Mall shooting in Ulster, New York that wounded two people. When his home was searched police found what they called “Columbine Memorabilia”. Bonelli pleaded guilty today to all charges against him…
In entering his plea, Bonelli said that he had gone to the mall with the intention of committing “suicide by cop,” hoping to get killed by police officers.
Ulster County District Attorney Donald Williams said Bonelli’s handwritten notes showed that he’d planned for months to conduct an armed rampage no later than April 20 of last year.
Williams also maintained Bonelli had a lurid fascination with the shootings in Columbine.
Personally, I don’t buy the “suicide by cop” theory. I think he luckily lost his nerve by the time he got to the mall but I think his original intention was to kill. Between his fascination with Columbine and the fact that he planned for months to conduct some kind of assault with an April 20th deadline lead me to believe that his original intention was to kill as many people as possible.
Anyway, he’s looking at a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 40.
Sentencing is set for May 19th.