A deputy sheriff in Virginia has been dismissed after authorities said his social media account was linked to disturbing threats against judges, governors, business owners and politicians, NBC News and other organizations reported Tuesday.
Prince William Sheriff Glendell Hill asked for an investigation after becoming aware of the comments Christmas morning.
The investigation was started after a freelance journalist shared a thread of sheriff's deputy Aaron Hoffman's Parler posts on Twitter.
"Find the homes of every governor, mayor, attorney general, liberal judge, senator, congressman and every major media/social media CEO," his post under the "WeThePeopleWarrior" profile reads.
"Remove them from their sanctuary. Bring the nightmare to where they lay their heads...show them they're not untouchable," it said.
In another post he said he would kill anyone who tried to give his children a COVID vaccine. "Not a threat, but a promise," the post said.
He said he would be "insanely violent" should he be required to wear a face mask to prevent the spread of the virus. "I guess it's God keeping me from murdering the mentally ill," The Washington Post quoted him as saying on Parler.
Hoffman said he didn't make the comments and that his account was hacked. The former deputy told the Post the account was his but insisted he didn't write the comments.
"I'm trying to figure out who did." Hoffman said he wasn't a threat and the comments "disturbed" him.
Hoffman has been with the county sheriff's office for 15 years. He said he deactivated the Parler account after he noticed suspicious activity.
Parler was founded in 2018 and has grown in popularity among conservatives seeking an avenue for expression after social media sites like Facebook and Twitter started to regulate misinformation ahead of the U.S. Presidential election.