A Georgia freeway sniper, who apparently idolized a Florida mass shooter, also appeared fascinated with German Nazis and their World War II military machine.
Rex Whitmire Harbour, 26, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after firing at seven vehicles, wounding three people, on Friday along a state highway in Gainesville, Georgia.
Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said investigators later searched Harbour’s home in Snellville, Georgia, and “discovered a manifesto” stating his admiration for Nikolas Cruz, accused of fatally shooting 17 people in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
“We found handwritten documents written by Mr. Harbour and they were very disturbing,” the sheriff told reporters. “He indicated that he idolized the [Parkland] mass shooter,” calling him a hero who inspired Harbour and gave him “courage and confidence.”
“The remainder of the documents that I saw are very hate-filled in that regard,” Couch said. “It appeared that he was targeting all Americans. Why? That I don’t know.”
Authorities haven’t specifically mentioned Harbour’s Facebook page, which shows he liked multiple pages set up in honor of German Nazis and one titled “Lovers of the German military forces 1933-1945.” The other pages he liked included a range of musicians and celebrities as well as multiple pages dedicated to “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and his widow, Taya Kyle.
Harbour’s Facebook profile also shows that he liked numerous historical photos of German Nazis, including officers of the Panzerwaffe and Luftwaffe.
One of the photos Harbour liked on Facebook depicts Nazi leader Hermann Göring and his pet lion, while another is of Margarete “Gretl” Braun, Adolf Hitler’s sister-in-law and part of the Nazi inner circle.
Harbour also posted a public comment on a photo of Nazi tank commander Kurt Knispel, who was credited with destroying 168 Allied tanks, writing: “Great work! Long live Germany!”
After the highway shooting, investigators retrieved a trail camera showing Harbour taking a position in a wooden area adjoining the southbound side of the highway where the shootings occurred, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
At least 17 shell casings were recovered, authorities said.
As deputies responded to the scene, Harbour fled in a Buick that came to a stop in a roadway median where he shot himself. In the vehicle, investigators found three 9mm handguns, a 12-gauge shotgun and more than 3,400 rounds of ammunition.