A fan showed up Friday evening outside Lana Del Rey’s pop concert in Orlando with a ticket, a knife and a plan to abduct her, police said.
Michael Shawn Hunt, 43, was arrested about a block from Amway Center and charged with stalking and attempted armed kidnapping. Police said he’d been unable to reach the singer.
Earlier Friday, a tipster reported what police described as “cryptic and threatening” social media posts about Del Rey on Hunt’s social media account, made in the days before her concert.
Police have not provided details about the posts, but local news outlets found a Facebook page that appeared to belong to Hunt, plastered with photos of the singer and bizarre messages to her.
“I love you too,” Hunt replied above the video, according to the news station. “I’m so sorry I did this to us.”
That was written at 2 a.m. Thursday, a day before Del Rey was scheduled to perform songs from her Grammy-nominated album “Lust for Life” at the Amway Center, less than a two-hour drive from Hunt’s home outside Tampa.
On the morning of the concert, News 6 reported, Hunt wrote: “It’s probably my last day on Facebook . . . I’ll see you on the other side.”
The Sentinel obtained a video posted to the same page in which Hunt talked about his plans. “I’m going to probably finish out her tour with her, obviously,” he reportedly told his friends. “Lana knows I’m here. The queen of England knows I’m here. Vladimir knows I’m here. They all know I’m here.”
Hunt has been imprisoned five times, the Sentinel wrote, for crimes ranging from from marijuana possession to grand theft with a firearm. His last sentence ended in 2014, after he served nine months for fleeing police near Tampa.
About 8,000 fans were expected at the concert in Orlando. After seeing what he’d written on social media, officers searched for him Friday and finally found him a block from the Amway Center about 9 p.m., an hour after the show started.
He had with him a three-inch folding knife, according to a heavily redacted police reported provided to The Washington Post.
ARRESTED: Michael Hunt, for aggravated stalking & attempted kidnapping w/a weapon.
After receiving a tip we deemed a credible threat, OPD got to him before he could get near singer Lana Del Rey last night at her show at Amway Center. pic.twitter.com/twVrOSxNqF
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) February 3, 2018
“If it weren’t for that tip, authorities might have been unaware of the threat Hunt posed,” police wrote in a short statement after taking him to a county jail to await a court appearance. It’s unclear whether Hunt has a lawyer, and a phone number listed on his arrest report was not in service Sunday.
Del Rey’s representatives couldn’t be immediately reached, but her show went on as planned Friday. Though police said the singer knew of the threats, to the point she was in “emotional distress” and feared for her safety, she gave no indication while on stage, and has since continued her national and international tour.
“Thanks for an amazing show tonight! Orlando wants you back here soon,” the Amway Center’s Twitter account wrote to her after the Orlando show.
“Thank you so much,” Del Rey wrote back. “So grateful.”
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