Prosecutors: Man claimed he wanted to commit a mass shooting while trying to buy a gun

HOUSTON – A man is being sought by police after prosecutors said he claimed he wanted to commit a mass shooting while he was trying to buy a gun earlier this month.

Joseph Anthony Abreu, 32, has a broad and lengthy criminal history that dates back to 2009. It includes charges of prostitution, evading arrest and criminal trespassing. He is now facing a charge of attempted possession of a firearm by a felon after prosecutors said he tried to purchase a gun at and Academy Sports & Outdoors on April 16.

“He does have a prior felony conviction which under state law prohibits him from possessing a firearm,” said Victoriano Flores, a Harris County assistant district attorney.

According to court records, Abreu tried to purchase a 9 mm pistol and was told the firearm would come with a six-round magazine and an eight-round magazine.

“That’s fine,” Abreu replied, according to court records. “I got eight rounds to kill eight people.”

Employees at the Academy told him that because of that comment they could no longer sell him the weapon and called police.

Prosecutors said the paperwork Abreu was filing out was a federal form that would of most likely been flagged because of his prior convictions. However, they said they are grateful to the Academy employees who were quick to report Abreu.

Anyone with information about Abreu’s whereabouts is asked to call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.

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