Michigan man arrested for threatening FBI Director Chris Wray, Rep. Garamendi


Photo of Neil Walter included in an FBI affidavit file in federal court in connection with criminal charges against Michigan man seen in fotos for threatening FBI director and member of Congress.

A Michigan man who owns a registered handgun was arrested for making death threats against FBI Director Chris Wray two weeks after making similar threats against Democratic Rep. John Garamendi of California, according to a federal court filing released Tuesday.

The man, identified as Neil Matthew Walter, was charged with transmitting in interstate commerce a communication containing a threat to injure another person.

Walter, a 32-year-old resident of Grand Blanc, was ordered temporarily detained without bail during an appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. He is next due to appear in that court on Dec. 1 for a detention hearing.

Garamendi’s office reported to U.S. Capitol Police that it had received a threatening voicemail allegedly left by Walter on the night of Nov. 3, according to a criminal complaint.

“John. Hey John. You’re gonna die John. You’re gonna die,” the voicemail said, according to an affidavit by an FBI agent attached to the complaint.

When Capitol Police requested a welfare check on Walter at his home, he answered a local police detective “with a firearm in his hand and initially refused to drop the gun or exit the residence,” the filing said.

Walter then “placed the handgun in the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt but kept his hand over the firearm during police contact.”

The affidavit said Walter ranted at the detective.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. August 4, 2022.
Jim Bourg | Reuters

When Walter’s father arrived at the residence, the dad told investigators “of his son’s mental instability and prior history of being committed to a Florida hospital,” the FBI agent wrote.

Walter’s mother later told police he had been “diagnosed with an unspecified psychosis,” according to the affidavit.

On Nov. 10, when Capitol Police made contact with Walter’s mother, she told them he “is refusing mental health treatment, is still in possession of a handgun, and made statements he would protect himself if anyone comes to try to take him from his home.”

Later that same day, Walter contacted the Capitol Police’s criminal investigations unit and “expressed strong discontent explaining the USCP should not have called his family about him,” and said Capitol Police “are going to make it worse,” the affidavit said.

More than a week later, on Saturday, Walter then used his Facebook account to post a series of threatening comments to a live stream video showing Wray, the FBI director, according to the affidavit.

“Director Wray is going to die every single day multiple times a day for raping my family over and over and lying to them and myself about it I will kill you I will you I will kill you director Wray you will die I will kill you in self defense,” one of Walter’s posts read.

Walter’s Facebook page also featured a number of comments “stating beliefs that half the Senators, the FBI, CIA, police, Tom Cruise, and Elon Musk are involved in a child slave rape ring, listing various locations where these rings are located, one of which identified the United States Capitol Building,” according to the FBI.

A firearms check showed that Walter has a registered Sig Sauer 9 mm semi-automatic pistol. Walter’s mother told the FBI he also has a revolver pistol, according to the affidavit.

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