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Fifth Third Center shooter filed two failed lawsuits alleging MSNBC spied on, persecuted him

CINCINNATI -- The man who Thursday morning opened fire in the lobby of Fifth Third Center, killing three people and injuring two others, had twice attempted to represent himself in lawsuits against major organizations he claimed had used his cell phone to harvest compromising personal information, broadcast it to a global audience via MSNBC and drive him into a state of seclusion.

Based on an initial search of MSNBC's website as well as that of NBC News, no such broadcasts appear to have actually occurred. No searchable coverage of Omar Santa-Perez exists on MSNBC at all; NBC News never mentioned his name prior to Thursday morning's deadly shooting.

In both cases, magistrate judges found Santa-Perez's claims "rambling, difficult to decipher and (bordering) on the delusional." The first suit was dismissed with prejudice; magistrate Judge Karen Litkovitz recommended in late June the second receive the same treatment.

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Santa-Perez in January filed suit against NBC Universal Inc. and TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, seeking $5.1 million in damages for emotional distress, "character assassination and distortion of material."

According to the suit, "in a matter of four weeks (in spring 2017), ‘MSNBC' created a character, grandeur a persona, unmasked and assassinated the character through its slanderous commentaries." It did so, Santa-Perez claimed, by directly accessing his home electronics, including his personal computer and cell phone, and harvesting information including his his location, browser history and past employment.

Court clerk Richard Nagel dismissed the suit with prejudice in June, but Santa-Perez would file again by the end of the month.

In his second suit, which named CNBC Universal Media and Ameritrade as defendants, he elaborated on his claim: He had been watching MSNBC and using a social media messaging system when the network suddenly began to broadcast information about him and became intent on hunting him down.

He alleged Ameritrade aided MSNBC in its persecution of Santa-Perez by tapping his phone and other personal electronics.

Santa-Perez wrote he hoped the suit would protect him from further "spying, surveillance or eavesdropping" and allow him "to live in peace of prying eyes, ears and or publication in secluded life."

As Litkovitz noted in her recommendation the suit again be dismissed, the claim "provides no factual content or context from which the Court may reasonably infer that the defendants violated (Santa-Perez's) rights."

Santa-Perez had no recorded history of violence in Hamilton County, but was arrested once in Broward County, Florida, on charges of brawling in public and resisting arrest.