Mark Adams Prieto: Arizona man wanted to start ‘race war’ with mass shooting at Atlanta concert

Mark Adams Prieto
Mark Adams Prieto

Authorities say they uncovered an Arizona man’s plot to shoot and possibly kill African Americans and other minorities at a concert at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena.

On Tuesday, a federal grand jury indicted 58-year-old Mark Adams Prieto of Prescott on charges of firearms trafficking, transfer of a firearm for use in a hate crime, and possession of an unregistered firearm.

According to the indictment, between January and May 2024, Prieto had been in discussions with two people who were secretly working with the Federal Bureau of Investigations to plan a mass shooting at the Atlanta venue in May.

While authorities do not say what concert, the dates provided in the indictment are the same as two nights of performances by the popular singer Bad Bunny at the venue.

Arizona man’s alleged plan to incite ‘race war’

Officials say their investigation began when Prieto told a man at a gun show that he wanted “to incite a race war prior to the 2024 United States Presidential Election.”

Prieto, a vendor at the Crossroads of the West gun shows in his hometown, allegedly would trade his personal firearms, using cash deals to avoid any interference from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.

On Jan. 21, officials say Prieto discussed with the source and an undercover FBI agent that he wanted them to help him carry out a shooting at a rap concert in Atlanta, specifically targeting the city because of its Black population.

As reported by the indictment, Prieto said he wanted to target a rap concert because “there would be a high concentration of African Americans” and planned to leave confederate flags after the violence and to shout phrases like “KKK all the way.”

Written by K Oteng

K.Oteng is a reporter and editor for based in Accra-Ghana

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