Bryan Silva in Custody After Social Media Threats Against UVa

While the UVa Community is still reeling from the tragedy of Sunday night’s shooting resulting in the death of three UVa football players and wounding of two others, UVa students were also alarmed by an unrelated threat made online Sunday by a Charlottesville resident and convicted felon, who has since been arrested and taken into custody.

The resident, Bryan Michael Silva, 31, posted threatening messages to the UVa community along with images and videos of himself handling guns and large amounts of ammunition. There were also explicit videos and photos of himself and others on his Twitter and Facebook feeds. 

Some students WUVA contacted expressed their concern as early as Sunday night about Silva’s threatening post before information on shooting suspect Christopher Darnell Jones was released. On police scanners that night, it was stated that law enforcement officers interviewed Silva, clearing him as a suspect in Sunday’s shooting, but some students were still concerned by Silva’s threats. 

— Quotes below are graphic and may be triggering to certain readers —

Silva has since set his account to private, but his quotes include:

11/13/22 at 4:14pm:

 “I want u v a to know what pain and suffering is. They put me through that every day of my life here and laughed in my face. I want them to feel how I feel. I will sell everything I have to make that pain and suffering happen.”

11/14/22 around 4pm: 

“Split them in half like a Kitcat.”

“Leave them on the floor with holes all in they body.”

Silva did not explicitly threaten to shoot anyone, but some students expressed hesitance on social media to participate in public gatherings to grieve or attend vigils for their fallen classmates as a result of the threats.

According to Newsweek, Silva is an internet personality, rapper, and OnlyFans model who gained notoriety in the 2010’s for his videos. He even appeared on an episode of the comedy show Tosh.0 with Daniel Tosh, in which he discussed his trouble with the law and his catchphrase “Gratata.”

At approximately 10:30 am on November 14th, 2022, the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) was made aware of the concerning social media posts. Working in conjunction with the University of Virginia Police Department, they opened an investigation into the postings and the individual. At approximately 4:00 pm, a search warrant was obtained and served for the address associated with the suspect in the 200 block of West Main Street, Charlottesville. 

Following this investigation, Silva was arrested and charged after violating Virginia state code § 18.2-308.2, possession or transportation of firearms, firearms ammunition, stun weapons, explosives or concealed weapons by a convicted felon, and state code § 18.2-250, possession of unlawful controlled substances. In addition, Silva was served an outstanding/active protective order issued by the Albemarle County District Court. He is being held without bond at the Albemarle – Charlottesville Regional Jail.

In a press release, the CPD stated, “At this time, CPD does not believe at this time Mr. Silva’s threats were related to the tragic events that occurred last night at the University of Virginia. However, we understand the fear this caused in our community and acted swiftly to resolve this investigation.” Continued awareness and concern raised by students regarding his posts might have led to Silva’s quick arrest.

This is not the first time Silva has been involved with law enforcement. At the age of 13, Silva was sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting a school principal and breaking and entering into his home.  Silva was also arrested in 2016 and sentenced to over a year in prison after an armed standoff with Charlottesville Police. In 2018, he appeared in court on a domestic violence charge, in which both he and his then-wife Melissa Barney were both charged with disorderly conduct. 

At this time, we await further information from University and Charlottesville police on Silva. 

If you have any further information regarding this investigation, please contact the Charlottesville Police Department at (434) 970-3280 or Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (434) 977-4000.

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I am a fourth year (UVA '23) from Roanoke, VA in the College of Arts and Sciences, double majoring in English and Media Studies and minoring in Latin American Studies. Currently, I'm serving as the President of WUVA. Please feel free to contact me at rel6bu@virginia.edu.
Hi! I am a second year student here at UVA from Southwest Virginia, Abingdon to be exact. I am planning to double major in Media Studies and Government, and (hopefully) minoring in Arabic language. I have been involved with WUVA since first year, and I am focused on reporting on politics and news. I grew up always involved in politics, and I hope to one day report on them professionally or work in political communications.

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