TWEET, TWEET, BANG, BANG
Man Tweeted He’d ‘Viciously Murder’ His Roommate, Cops Say He Did
Police say Zachary Penton confessed to killing a man he lived with two days after he tweeted he would ‘viciously murder my roommates.’
Two days after he tweeted “I need to move out of my place before I viciously murder my roommates,” Zachary Penton called 911 and confessed to killing his roommate.
Penton, of Gilbert, Arizona, was booked in Maricopa County jail after police said he called on Sunday to tell them he had shot and killed his roommate, 41-year-old Daniel Garofalo, according to Phoenix’s ABC15. The Gilbert Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment.
Ten days ago, Penton retweeted a meme that purported to show data counting the causes of death in the U.S. through June 15, putting gun murders at the bottom.
“Abortion: 501,235 — Her body! Her choice! Obesity: 140,939 — Healthy at every size!” it reads, next to a a smiling stock photo of a woman. “Murder by gun: 5,276 —OMG What?! We need gun control!” it says.
Four days later, Penton tweeted he needed “2 boxes of 9mm (ammo) stat.”
Penton has long been obsessed with guns and violence, as he documented on Twitter. On Dec. 21, 2012, he tweeted “Get me a gun.” Three months later, he wrote “I wish I had a gun. I’d feel safer.” He tweeted his desire to own a gun six more times in the next four years—including an apparently deleted tweet from July of 2013, retweeted from user @Kevin_Klun, that reads “Someone sell me a gun so I can shoot up an imax.”
On June 3, 2016, about seven weeks ago, Penton appears to have finally purchased a firearm. “Holy shit, buying a gun is so easy,” he tweeted.
Penton’s timeline simultaneously railed against gun control while frequently tweeting about wanting to kill people.
In February 2013, Penton wrote, “Ever wanted to kill someone?” Two days later, he followed up: “srs let’s go kill someone.”
The next month, he tweeted, “Guns don’t kill people Jer bear. People kill people.” Three weeks later, he tweeted again to a friend: “Let’s kill people.”
Penton also made public his struggle to find a roommate over the past four years on Twitter. On Nov. 1, 2012, he tweeted “Anyone wanna be my roommate? :)” Six months and three tweets later, it appears he still couldn’t find one.
“WHAT THE FUCK I NEED A ROOMMATE. HELLO?” he wrote. By August of 2013, it appears he still had not completed his roommate search. “Why is it so hard to find a roommate...” he wrote.
Penton’s friends condemned his actions on Twitter, while defending the person they knew.
“Zac Penton has been a good friend of mine for years. No one should be defending him, he likely snapped and made a horrible, irreversible decision,” wrote Kat, a friend with whom Penton regularly conversed, according to Twitter archives.
”It truly, truly disgusts me that social media has become a massive platform for humiliation and defamation in cases like this,” the person continued. “You don’t know what his roommates from Craigslist were like, if they were on drugs, if they threatened a knife or even another gun, ANYTHING could have happened and yet you’re shaming him for point blank murder.”
Kat later set her account to private, but cautioned those making light of Penton’s alleged crime to wait for more facts. She did not respond to a request for comment.
“The insensitivity he used when he joked about killing his roommates over a drunken bee sting is the SAME INSENSITIVITY YOU’RE ALL USING WHEN YOU MAKE JOKES ABOUT IT AND REPOST FOR LIKES,” she wrote.
Another Twitter friend condemned the rumors spreading on social media.
“Social media is such a wicked thing, people will say anything for a couple minutes of hype,” a Twitter user named Autumn wrote.