He died Tuesday in Belton, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City, after members of the FBI’s joint terrorism task force attempted to arrest him.
It’s not clear whether Wilson was wounded by FBI agents or if he died by suicide. Officials say he was armed and after being shot was taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The incident will be investigated by the FBI’s inspection division, standard procedure for shootings involving agents.
FBI officials describe Wilson as a potentially violent extremist known to express racial and religious hatred and anti-government sentiment. They say that while under surveillance, Wilson wanted to commit an act of terrorism, specifically a bombing, and had considered several targets, including a school with a large population of black students, a synagogue and a mosque.
“With the current health crisis, Wilson decided to accelerate his plan to use a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in an attempt to cause severe harm and mass casualties,” the FBI said in a statement.
The shooting occurred when the FBI tried to arrest Wilson when he arrived to pick up what he thought was a car bomb. But there was no actual bomb and authorities say no members of the public were ever in danger during the investigation.