Long Island Man Charged for Homophobic, Anti-Semitic Crime Spree

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Instagram logo in this picture illustration
A Long Island man was indicted for harassing and targeting victims based on their sexuality and religion.
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

A Long Island man is facing a slew of charges for allegedly carrying out a series of shootings across Suffolk County and harassing several victims based on their sexuality and religion.

Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini announced the indictment of Christopher Keller, 36, of Manorville, on April 16 after he allegedly went on a shooting spree and used Instagram to send homophobic, anti-Semitic messages and threats to victims he believed were Jewish or LGBTQ. Keller also allegedly used a telephone to spew hateful rhetoric. Keller’s shootings — which did not injure anyone — targeted a house in Kings Park; businesses in Holtsville, Medford, and Nesconset; and vehicles at a house in Medford, according to prosecutors.

In a statement, Sini denounced the string of hate-fueled crimes.

“This defendant is an alleged menace who has terrorized a number of individuals in our community based on his perception of their religion and their sexual orientation,” Sini said in a written statement on April 16. He further added that the disturbing messages directed at individuals on social media “caused [victims] to fear for their lives and the safety of their loved ones.”

An investigation led by the district attorney’s office revealed that Keller targeted victims between last July and February of this year, according to prosecutors. Authorities say he allegedly sent victims messages with “death threats, maps with their addresses marked off, photos of their family members, and violently pornographic images.” 

Keller is facing a 36 counts, including felony aggravated harassment as a hate crime, menacing in the second degree, and aggravated harassment in the second degree. During his arraignment, authorities requested that Keller be held in jail. However, he was released on a $300,000 cash bond, with GPS monitoring and supervision by the Suffolk County Probation Department.

Keller returns to court on May 3 and faces up to seven years in prison.