January 26, 2022

Disgruntled VA Pharmacist Matthew Ruhmann Slater Threatened to ‘Hunt’ Bosses With His AR-15

8 min read


After a Washington State pharmacist was suspended from his job for a pair of drunk driving arrests, he vowed to go “looking people” on the Veterans Affairs facility the place he labored, threatening to kill his supervisors and a VA investigator—in addition to their households and pets—for supposedly tanking his profession.

On Tuesday, Matthew Ruhmann Slater, 41, pleaded responsible to 1 depend of creating interstate threats, according to a plea agreement filed in Seattle federal court. In doing so, Slater admitted to a slew of disturbing allegations, together with constructing an AR-15 from elements he ordered by way of the mail and terrifying his targets by posting footage on-line of infamous Wisconsin cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer underneath the phrases “REVENGE,” together with pictures of mass shooter Seung-Hui Cho, who gunned down 32 folks at Virginia Tech College in 2007.

“I’m soooooo extremely mad at VA Seattle for the emotional trauma they put me by way of,” Slater messaged a coworker after he was positioned on go away. “However I received’t shoot you or any of the traditional workers. Don’t fear you’re secure, it’s the upper up administration who needs to be involved and searching over their shoulder’s [sic]… AR-15 isn’t made for looking deer, fairly for looking people,” including, “VA Seattle ruined my life and my federal profession and if I’ve to go down I’ll definitely take a couple of of them down with me.”

The case has not been beforehand reported.

In courtroom filings, Slater said he had been reeling from his father’s death from most cancers in June 2019 and began consuming to self-medicate. That fall, Slater was busted for DUI twice in two days, ejecting from his automotive at 60 mph in a single incident, including to the power neck ache he already suffered from a lifelong TMJ dysfunction. A demotion at work for poor efficiency, then the suspension for the DUIs, have been an excessive amount of to bear for Slater, who courtroom data say has additionally suffered from anxiousness, OCD, and bulimia, and his “scary conduct” started in response to this mix of setbacks, based on a letter Slater’s mom despatched to the choose in his case.

Slater’s current troubles started on Sept. 29, 2019, along with his first DUI incident. Within the quick aftermath, Slater allegedly shoved a cop, practically pushing him into oncoming visitors, states a criticism filed within the case.

Through the second incident, Slater rolled his automotive and was thrown from the car, inflicting extreme head accidents.

“Officers noticed 26 empty beer cans in Slater’s automotive,” the criticism says. “His blood alcohol degree was a staggering .227.”

In January 2020, Slater’s bosses positioned him on administrative go away, pending dismissal.

On the finish of April 2020, based on courtroom filings, Slater posted footage of an assault rifle on Fb, writing, “That could be a image of an AR-15 by the best way……. lovely gun. Any VA worker ought to honor the second modification, no? And for authorized functions, I’m merely simply making an statement….. not a menace.” He instructed a pal that he may finally delete the submit, however “need[ed] a couple of key folks to see it first.”

On Could 4, 2020, court filings say Slater complained to a pal on Fb that “sure folks at work had discovered about his arrests, and instructed his supervisor,” which is what bought him suspended.

“So that you see why I had an image of an AR-15 on my profile?” Slater wrote, following up the subsequent day with, “Dying to the deserving.”

One other submit included the phrase “REVENGE,” in all caps, with footage of a severed head and leg, a row of lifeless our bodies, late killer Jeffrey Dahmer, and a mutilated deer. “I like to chop the deer’s hooves off with a butter knife when they’re nonetheless alive simply to look at them flinch,” Slater mentioned beneath.

Yet one more featured a photograph of Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho pointing a gun on the digital camera.

When a pal expressed concern concerning the violent nature of Slater’s Fb posts, Slater responded, based on his plea submitting, “I’ve nothing to lose. I need coworkers to suppose I’m gonna shoot the place up. I don’t fucking care.” Later, Slater clarified, “I’ve an AR-15 which I purchased two weeks in the past after an extended wait interval. I used to be initially planning on capturing myself with it, however perhaps I’ll take a few of these douche luggage [sic] in Seattle VA out with me. They completely deserve it. I don’t care anymore. I don’t give a fuck.”

A photograph Slater posted to Fb of Virginia Tech mass shooter Seung-Hui Cho.

U.S. District Courtroom for the Western District of Washington

It was throughout this era that Slater moved in along with his mother, who lived in New Mexico. However he nonetheless seethed about having been wronged by the VA, his plea papers state.

On Could 19, 2020, Slater posted on Fb, “Typically in June an angel will will get [sic] it [sic] wings, It’s good and dangerous however all the time unhappy, each pleasure and ache this brings. Typically in June a household should say goodbye, and on this month [two named VA employees] will die.”

As for having been demoted earlier than his suspension, Slater posted, “This new coverage of maintaining traumatized folks at work by demoting them to clerical positions whereas they wait to be fired is finally, statistically talking going to result in a *MASSIVE MASSACRE* within the federal office.”

Prosecutors say Slater once more tried to cowl himself, including, “And for authorized causes, ‘needs to be wanting over their shoulder’ isn’t a direct menace. ….Merely a fantasy and never something legally actual…However I used to be raised as a hunter and love weapons. I just lately bought and AR-15 which has a 30 spherical journal clip and is semiautomatic (completely different than my current, single bolt loading looking rifles). AR-15 isn’t made for looking deer, fairly for looking people.” After telling his pal on Fb that he “can’t say it’s actual or I feel your [sic] gonna name the FBI,” Slater messaged, “Simply wait. CNN entrance web page. I’ve nothing to reside for anymore. It is gonna be a blood tub [sic]!!!!!!!”

Two days later, Slater bought a go to from the native police.

Somebody who had seen Slater’s posts grew to become apprehensive and referred to as the cops, based on a associated courtroom submitting. His mom instructed the officers that Slater suffered from psychological well being points, hadn’t been taking his treatment, and had bought a rifle. She believed Slater was a suicide danger, however cops didn’t discover any weapons in the home. Slater wouldn’t say something with out an lawyer, and the officers left.

The next day, Slater wrote on Fb, “hello police when you’re on the market and monitoring my Fb. Good luck discovering my newly bought AR-15. You may get a warrant and knock down doorways in Albuquerque or Kent however you’ll by no means discover it’s my particular hiding place.”

After being involuntarily dedicated to a psychiatric hospital for seven days, Slater was arrested June 4, 2020, on state costs and extradited from New Mexico to Washington. The state case was dropped in favor of the federal case, courtroom data say.

Slater spent the higher a part of a yr in jail, and on March 9, 2021, he pleaded responsible to creating threats towards a federal official. The impression of Slater’s conduct on his meant targets was “profound,” based on one of many filings, which says Slater’s current incarceration had been, for them, “a reprieve from worrying.” The fearful targets took go away from work and obtained safety orders towards Slater, filings say.

On June 15, 2021, Choose Ricardo S. Martinez sentenced Slater, who had no earlier felony historical past, to time served and three years of supervised launch. However a mere 48 hours later, Slater was already in violation of his release conditions, based on prosecutors.

“Two days after being sentenced by Choose Martinez, on June 17, 2021, Slater started posting disturbing pictures on his Fb profile,” Slater’s plea agreement states. “These posts included a drawing of Sufferer 3 tied and laying [sic] on the practice tracks and tombstones with Victims 1 by way of 3 written on [them].”

In response, the choose ordered monitoring software program to be put in on Slater’s digital gadgets. In late July, Slater was rearrested for a flurry of textual content messages he despatched to his mom throughout a 29-hour interval of intoxication, the submitting says.

“I need all federal brokers or probation officers watching this message,” one textual content learn. “You fully ruined my life… Sure. I’m referring to you [Victim 1], [Victim 2], and [Victim 3]…I’m going to kill you and your loved ones (and if I didn’t already know they existed I’ll run an web search and ensure they’re lifeless too).”

“REVENGE . . . . I’m going to mutilate all of their pets and put them in a jar of formaldehyde and ship it to [Victim 2]’s son on [sic] tenth grade in junior excessive,” mentioned one other.

“I’m going to bloodbath [Victim 2], [Victim 1], and [Victim 3],” learn a 3rd. “An AR-15 isn’t for looking animals. It’s for looking people.”

Final August, Slater—who had spent only a month or in order a free man—was indicted by a federal grand jury over the textual content messages. He was ordered detained pending trial, and spent the subsequent 16 months in federal detention. Now that Slater has pleaded responsible, prosecutors are asking for a sentence of 18 months in jail.

In a letter to the courtroom, one of Slater’s targets wrote, “What I need is for Matthew to get assist. I’m uncertain that spending extra time in jail will assist him to maneuver on along with his life.”

Household pals and colleagues described Slater in their very own notes to the choose as “well mannered” and “gracious,” if a bit “quirky.”

“I’m not fairly positive learn how to describe it however it usually appeared like his mind simply labored somewhat bit in another way from most,” wrote one. “This might be most noticeable in social conditions. He’d usually simply come out with issues, the which means or background of which was a thriller and would usually take us some time to decipher. Nothing inappropriate, however simply form of usually off the wall.”

A former coworker’s letter described the pharmacy supervisor on the Seattle VA as “unkind, mean-spirited, and retaliatory,” and as somebody who “always terrorizes and bullies the pharmacy workers.”

In a plea for leniency, Slater’s protection lawyer mentioned his actions have been largely a cry for assist, stating, “It’s noteworthy that individuals who knew Mr. Slater effectively thought his Fb account had been hacked after they noticed the threatening posts… The posts have been…enormously out of character for him, at the same time as depressed as he was. Many individuals who noticed the posts have been involved, not for the security of others however for the security of Mr. Slater himself, given his psychological well being points and all he had been by way of.”

Slater is now detained as he waits to be sentenced on April 1. His life will look very completely different upon his eventual launch, based on his lawyer, Jennifer E. Horwitz.

“He’ll now not work as a pharmacist, since a licensing lawyer has suggested he’s prone to lose his license,” she said within the submitting. “Relatively, he’ll discover work the place he can, possible for minimal wage.”

Horwitz didn’t reply to The Day by day Beast’s request for touch upon Wednesday.

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