A 78-year-old US veteran who had allegedly threatened to shoot President Barack Obama and expressed suicidal thoughts has been arrested.
Michael Stephen Bowden told a nurse at a Veterans Affairs clinic in northwestern South Carolina that he was "was thinking of travelling to Washington, DC, to shoot the president because he was not doing enough to help African Americans," according to a Secret Service affidavit as quoted by the local television channel WYFF.
Bowden, according to WYFF, made the remarks to a nurse and when asked if he was suicidal, he said yes.
When Secret Service Agents went to Bowden's home on November 16, he did not deny making the allegations and told them "if I had the opportunity, I would shoot him (President Obama) myself".
"If I had the opportunity to get Obama against the wall and shoot him, I would".
After searching the house, the agents found three loaded semi-automatic handguns and a semi-automatic rifle near Bowden's bed and a loaded short-barrel shotgun near the front door.
Bowden was in the Navy for four years, served as a New York City policeman for three years and an NYC fire captain for more than 18 years, until he had a heart attack on the job and had to retire.
Bowden's son, Kerry Bowden, said, "It's been a shock to the entire family. We had no idea that he had any type of suicidal thoughts".
"He was acting out," Bowden's son told WYFF.
"He did not have the intent. Let's face it — he's a 78-year-old man that's gone through two bypass surgeries.
"If he lifts anything over 20 pounds, he has to pop a nitro because of his chest pain".
"If he walks up the hill or too far, he has to stop and pop a nitro because of his chest pain. Is this man really a threat? The agents said in the son's bedroom they found nine rifles, two shotguns and a handgun," he said.