Bottom Line Up Front
- The first person to tweet about the Las Vegas shootings is likely a real estate agent from Antioch, California.
- It is possible that he was on vacation in Las Vegas at the time.
Earlier today, Caroline Orr (rvawonk on Twitter) tweeted a screenshot of what she claims are the first two tweets to mention the shootings in Las Vegas.
Is anyone else curious abt the user who sent the 1st tweet about Las Vegas shooting? He’s had an account since 2011. He’s tweeted 2X in 6yrs pic.twitter.com/1m7A3nDbWe
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) October 2, 2017
Like many others, my curiosity was, indeed, piqued. So, I decided to do a little digging.
Tweeter is Likely From Antioch, CA
The user identifies himself as “Mike Perry” and his handle is @michael_a_perry. A look at who he follows and his followers indicates that he likely lives in the Contra Costa County area of California. He follows or is followed by various accounts related to the towns of Antioch and Brentwood, California. This includes following law enforcement accounts for both Antioch and Brentwood and being followed by an Antioch restaurant. He also follows several local, Bay Are news sources.
A search of several people search databases indeed shows that there is a Michael A Perry that lives in Antioch, CA.
Tweeter Is Likely A Real Estate Agent in Antioch, CA
From here I searched for several people in Facebook. This included, obviously, Michael Perry or Mike Perry in Antioch, CA. I also searched for April Perry, who is mentioned as a possible relative in two of the three people search results for Michael A. Perry. Finally, I also searched for Alexis Perry in Antioch, who shows up in the White Pages search as a possible relative.
These searches turned up a Mike Perry from Antioch who is married to April Perry, also of Antioch. April Perry is friends with Alexis Perry, who also appears from her Facebook profile to live in the Contra Costa County area.
Mike Perry only has two friends, which are the two profiles for his wife, April Perry. He identifies himself as owner of Perry Realty Team. From the company website, we can see that April Perry is also a real estate agent at Perry Realty.
A Las Vegas Vacation?
We can see from one of April Perry’s two Facebook accounts that she was a fan of slot machines. Indeed, she shared a picture from a slot machine game on Facebook and her Facebook handle for that same account was “aprilslotcrazy.”
Given his wife’s interest in slots, perhaps the two were on vacation in Las Vegas, hence his ability to tweet so early about the unfolding events?
Why No Tweets Until Now?
Several observers noted that Mike Perry had a Twitter account since 2011 but has only tweeted twice–i.e. the two tweets posted about the shooting. They also note that Mike Perry followed law enforcement accounts, President Trump, daughter Invanka Trump, Fox News, and other conservative accounts. Thus, some are tempted to see something potentially nefarious in these two tweets from an otherwise seemingly dormant account.
I find it more plausible that Mr. Perry was merely a “lurker” on Twitter. That is, he used Twitter primarily to follow public officials and news organizations but was not active in posting content himself. We see a similar pattern on his Facebook profile, where he did not post often.
Perhaps Mr. Perry had the Twitter app on his phone to keep up with news and information of interest to him and decided when the shooting started to post his first tweets? This seems a safer bet to me than jumping to any nefarious conclusions.