By Kendall McElroy
On the evening of July 30th Parkland district deputies pulled over a white Nissan Sentra belonging to Robert Mondragon. Within the previous 11 days, Mondragon’s vehicle had been spotted on security footage at the scene of the Parkland shooting memorial bench at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Crossing guards had found multiple small mutilated animals, including a duck, a raccoon, and an opossum.
During his arrest FL deputies found blood and feathers on the floorboards of the passenger seat. As Mondragon explained, the evidence had resulted due to the fact that he “likes the metal and blood smell that emit from the dead animal.”
Mondragon was placed in police custody regarding the investigations into animal mutilations, however what they would find would be beyond concerning. At the residence he shared with his father in Margate apartments, neighbors reportedly had seen Mondragon and his father toting large guns, oftentimes frightening neighbors into stay away from the two.
August 4th, Mondragon was arrested for allegations in violation of his parole. Following this, various warrants were obtained in order to search not only his home and car, but also his social media and internet activity. While investigating the camera roll on his phone, deputies found images of Mondragon with a dead duck with its chest carved open, similar to the duck left on the memorial. The evidence didn’t end there, another photo of a dead raccoon on the passenger side floorboard of his car was recovered as well.
Furthermore, his internet search history revealed a fevered interest in school shooters and school shootings, with search terms ranging from, how to break into steel doors, to pipe bombs, to slang terms for cop killers. His sinister obsession with school shooters didn’t stop at nonfiction. Mondragon’s extensive face tattoos resemble the makeup worn by American Horror Story character, Tate Langdon, who’s character makeup and arc are based off the Columbine massacre.
Currently, according to TMZ, “Mondragon is being held without bond on charges of removing or disfiguring a tomb or monument (3 counts), violation of probation for battery and indecent exposure (5 counts) and violation of a risk protection order.”
The arrest of Robert Mondragon shows the importance of how we portray tragedies in the media and how easily portrayal can verge into glorification. While the crimes of Mondragon are incredibly vile and disrespectful to the victims of the Parkland shooting, his infatuation with the intersection of gun violence and schools could have very likely spiraled into something much worse, another mass murder.