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Emerging clues raise questions about details in video threatening school shooting

New facts are coming to light about a man in jail on a terrorism charge over an Instagram video in which he threatened last week to fire an assault rifle at a middle school. The new information raises questions about detailed statements he made about his background, family and financial status.

Daniel Julio Dominguez, 31, of Gainesville, described his mother as "chronically underpaid and overworked" in the video he posted and said his starting salary just a few years ago was equal to his mother’s, who had been working her whole life.

It turns out, his mother and stepfather are both highly regarded educators at different Alachua County middle schools than the one Dominguez said he wanted to target. His father, who lives in the home where Dominguez recorded the video and where sheriff’s deputies found an assault rifle, is a registered nurse in Gainesville.

Odalis Manduley is a long-standing Spanish language teacher at Westwood Middle School and was a finalist in 2012 for the county’s teacher of the year award. Her husband, Mike Gamble, is the principal at Mebane Middle School. It was unclear why Dominguez — who said the recorded threat was fictional and intended as a piece of art — chose to make threats of a school shooting given their jobs.

The couple, who married in 1998 — when Daniel would have been 6 years old — now live in a $560,000 home in northwest Gainesville. They purchased the home in 2000 for $175,000, property records show.

The couple travels extensively and returned from a 10-day vacation to Vail, Colorado in July, with stops in Denver, Red Rock, Grand Junction and elsewhere, according to photos and accounts on their social media. They vacationed in Iceland in March last year over spring break.

Dominguez also boasted in the video of how much money he has been earning since he said he became a professional four years ago in an unspecified field.

“When I was 27 and I finally achieved middle-class status and became a professional, my starting salary was equal to my mother’s, who has been working her whole life,” he said.

But law enforcement records, public records and a review of his social media accounts indicate Dominguez has been unemployed since he graduated in 2018 from Florida State University with a master’s degree in geographic information science and cartography. His bond records filed in court described him as “unemployed/disabled.”

Court records show he was provisionally appointed a public defender last week, but Dominguez has not yet filed a financial affidavit demonstrating to the judge that he can not afford a private defense lawyer.

Dominguez also said on the video that he was born in north central Florida and has lived in the area all his life. Police records showed Dominguez was born in Puerto Rico in February 1992.

The inconsistencies could support Dominguez’s contention that the threatening video on Instagram included fictional statements and was intended to be “an art piece.” In a description of the video, Dominguez called it a “work of fiction” and said he was not suicidal and was not actually making threats. Dominguez has not yet entered a plea or specified a legal defense in papers filed in circuit court.

“Please don’t call the police or report my account,” he wrote. “I would like to enjoy my freedom of movement and to not go to jail for art.”

Dominguez has been in jail since his arrest on Thursday on initial complaints of making threats and terrorism, both felonies. The terrorism charge — if it were pursued by the State Attorney’s Office and ultimately resulted in a conviction — could send Dominguez to prison for life. A judge set his bond at $2 million and ordered Dominguez not to possess any weapons, stay away from all public or private schools and wear a GPS transmitter before he could be released. It would be the first criminal terrorism case in the county’s history.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported the video Thursday to city police and the county sheriff, who quickly tracked Dominguez through his cellphone and arrested him near a pizza restaurant on the edge of town.

Neither Manduley nor Gamble were at the schools where they respectively work Monday, nor did they respond to Facebook message requests for comment.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office this week defended its handling of the case as a credible threat toward Kanapaha Middle School, just blocks from Dominguez’s father’s home, where Dominguez was apparently living, recorded the video and sheriff’s deputies recovered the assault rifle shown online.

“You don't joke about that kind of stuff,” sheriff’s spokesman Art Forgey said.

Dominguez’s father, the registered nurse, and Dominguez’s mother divorced in 1997 when Dominguez was 5 and his sister was 6, according to court records. Manduley was awarded primary custody, with the children spending alternate weeks and Father’s Day with their father, Julio Dominguez III. He was ordered to pay $450 per month in child support minus the costs of health insurance. 

In the threatening video, Dominguez described “a significant amount of my childhood stolen.” It wasn’t clear what he was referring to.

Dominguez’s father lives in a $296,000 home in the Valwood neighborhood near the middle school that was the target in the Instagram video. Records show he and Manduley bought the home in 1991 for $76,900, and he gave his ex-wife $6,000 to keep the home during the divorce.

Dominguez’s father alluded on social media more than a decade ago to mental health issues — including suicidal thoughts his children were suffering — when Dominguez would have been 17 years old. Dominguez’s sister did not respond to repeated efforts to contact her.

“I swear, my teenagers are going to kill me,” Julio Dominguez wrote on Facebook in January 2010. “Elation, depression that verges on suicidal. Crying, sulky peevishness, elation again, all at the drop of a hat! I am so over it!”


This is a breaking news story. Check back for further developments. Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

Alissa is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.