STUART, Fla. -- An investigation is under way into a threat e-mailed to a Republican Florida lawmaker an hour after the mass fatal shooting in Arizona that wounded Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
State Rep. William Snyder, of Stuart, Fla., who is working on a high profile immigration bill, said he received a message that that harm would come to him or his family members if he didn't drop his immigration effort that mirrors a controversial bill approved last year in Arizona.
Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder said his agency is working with law enforcement in another state in an investigation into the e-mail received at Snyder's Stuart legislative office on Jan 8, the day Giffords was shot in the head.
"There are some names that have come up in the investigation that look like good potential suspects, but the investigation has not moved that far along for a number of reasons," Crowder said.
"You have got to consider it serious even if it doesn't pan out to be that way. We are not mind readers. We're not fortune tellers, so we have to take it serous on its face and treat it as it is bona fide and we don't know if that is the case yet."
Snyder, R-Stuart, following a news conference Tuesday to announce his run for county sheriff, said it would be inappropriate to discuss an open investigation.
But added, "A threat against me is something I can contend with easily, it's just a fact of life," Snyder said. "A threat against my family, you saw my grandson here today, I took that very seriously."
The Arizona shooting came less than 24 hours after Snyder hosted a forum on his immigration proposal that drew a passionate but polite crowd of more than 300 in a library.
Snyder has yet to formally file the bill he announced last summer.
As proposed, the bill would make it a state crime for non-U.S. residents to fail to carry alien registration documentation, and would allow law enforcement officers in the state to question anyone they legally stop about their immigration status and hand undocumented people over to federal authorities for possible deportation.
(Jim Turner writes for Scripps Treasure Coast (Fla.) Newspapers, The Stuart News, Fort Pierce Tribune and Vero Beach Press Journal.)