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After Tweeting About Murdering His Roommates, A Man Allegedly Killed His Roommate

Zachary Penton, 21, was charged with murder for allegedly fatally shooting his roommate, a day after he appeared to have written a tweet warning he might "viciously murder" his roommates.

Posted on August 22, 2016, at 3:48 p.m. ET

A 21-year-old man in Arizona has been charged with murder for allegedly fatally shooting his roommate on Sunday, just one day after he appeared to tweet about "viciously" murdering his roommates.

Gilbert Police Department

Zachary Penton was charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting his roommate, 41-year-old Daniel Garofalo, Gilbert police said.

Officers responded to a 911 call by Penton, who told police that he had shot Garofalo with a handgun during an altercation at their residence, police said.

Authorities discovered a handgun at the home that was believed to have been used in the shooting.

Garofalo was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the altercation and what led to the shooting.

Penton is being held at Maricopa County Jail.

A post from what appeared to be Penton's Twitter account written a day before the killing read, "I need to move out of my place before I viciously murder my roommates."


A spokesman for the Gilbert Police Department, Hugh White, told BuzzFeed News that officers were aware of the tweet and were looking "at the possibility" that the account belonged to the suspect.

White said that police were trying to "independently verify" the account.

The tweet has since gone viral after people connected it to the suspect in the shooting.

A subsequent tweet from the same account said the roommates "literally just got into a drunk fight after one of them was stung by a bee."


White told BuzzFeed News that Penton and Garofalo "possibly" had one other roommate who was not present at the house during the shooting.

Since 2012, the user of the account has posted several tweets about wanting to obtain a gun.


A tweet in June said, "Holy shit buying a gun is so easy."


Police confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Penton was in possession of a gun, but they were investigating whether he was legally allowed to have it or whether it was stolen.

Garofalo was not armed when he was killed, police said.

A woman who claimed that she was Penton's friend criticized people for sharing the tweet and "shaming" him for murder. "The insensitivity he used when he joked about killing his roommates over a drunken bee sting is the same insensitivity you're all using when you make jokes about it and repost it for likes," the woman wrote.


BuzzFeed News has reached out to the woman for comment.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.