Handcuffs (Shorebeat File Photo/ banspy/ Flickr
Handcuffs (Shorebeat File Photo/ banspy/ Flickr)

A Lakewood man has been charged with threatening to fire a machine gun at a pro-gun-control rally, but authorities say they did not actually find any weapons after searching his apartment.

Shane Steele, 42, of Lakewood, is charged with a single count of terroristic threats, in reference to a mass shooting threat that he allegedly posted on Facebook, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. Senior Assistant Prosecutor Kristin Pressman reviewed the investigative evidence and approved the charge; Steele was arrested March 9 and released on a summons to answer the charge at a future date.

Det. Raymond Coles of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s High Tech Crime Unit arrested Steele following a civilian referral to the Manalapan Police Department on Feb. 19, 2018, reporting that Steele allegedly authored a post on Facebook stating his intend to open fire with a machine gun at a “March For Our Lives” rally calling for stricter gun laws. The investigation determined that Steele resided in Lakewood at the time of the posting.

“An extensive search of Steele’s residence was conducted which proved negative for any firearms,” said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office.

Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation including personnel from the Lakewood Police Department, Toms River Police Department, Manalapan Police Department, South Brunswick Police Department, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.