AN ELDERLY war veteran who kept loaded guns at his bedside has been arrested for threatening to kill President Barack Obama.
Michael Bowden, from the southern state of South Carolina, told a nurse during a visit to a veterans’ clinic that he “would like to shoot the president, then myself”, according to a criminal complaint.
Mr Bowden said he was “thinking of travelling to Washington, DC, to shoot the president because he is not doing enough to help African Americans”, according to a criminal complaint filed in a South Carolina court.
Mr Bowden, who is 77 and white, was arrested on November 18.
Authorities searched his home and found four fully loaded semi-automatic weapons near his bed, along with spare ammunition, the criminal complaint said.
Investigators found another nine rifles, two shotguns and a handgun in the room of Mr Bowden’s son, along with more weapons near the front door, it said. Bowden was arrested on charges of threatening the President.
According to local television station WYFF, Mr Bowden served in the Navy for four years and then as a New York City policeman for three years.
He then worked as a New York fire captain for more than 18 years, but retired after suffering a heart attack on the job, the network said.
Mr Obama, the first African American president, is believed to have faced a flurry of threats since taking office, although both the Secret Service and White House are tight-lipped on security measures.