Brother of Jacksonville man accused of planning mass shooting: 'My brother is very gentle'

The Jacksonville man police say was planning a mass shooting at a local mosque is scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday afternoon.

Bernandino Bolatete’s brother, Pedro, tells Action News Jax he believes his brother is innocent.

“I don’t think he would be able, capable of doing something like that, what they’re alleging,” Pedro Bolatete said.

MORE: Jacksonville officers: Man planned mass shooting at Islamic center

Pedro Bolatete says his brother is a gun enthusiast, but he’s no killer.

He tells Action News Jax reporter Russell Colburn that the family plans to attend Bernandino Bolatete’s court appearance.

Friday, the FBI raided the home in the Girvin area of town where 69-year-old Bernandino Bolatete rented a room.

Authorities announced his arrest Monday, saying he told an undercover officer he had plans to carry out a mass shooting at the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida.

Investigators say he made threats to shoot up the mosque several times, and told the officer, "I just want to give these freaking people a taste of their own medicine, you know? They are the ones who are always doing these shootings, the killings."

Bolatete was arrested Friday when investigators say he asked that officer for help purchasing a silencer, saying he didn’t want paperwork associated with the sale.

The FBI said a civil rights investigation is underway and Bolatete could face more charges.

Pedro Bolatete said that isn’t his brother.

“I just want to let people know that I think [people have] already decided that he’s something bad, somebody bad, a terrorist -- I saw that on the news. I can’t imagine,” Pedro Bolatete said. “My brother is very gentle.”

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