|“||Do you know what they called it?! They called it cutting the grass. You gotta cut the grass before it gets too tall. They'd tell us to pull the weeds before they took over the garden.||”|
— Jake to Tori Hoffstadt
Very little is revealed about Jake's history or personal life, other than he was most likely an avid gamer with a fondness for first-person shooter games. In February 2016, he was recruited to Peakstone, a private military consulting firm, by Tori Hoffstadt as a drone pilot for a project designed to relieve pressure on the stretched resources and manpower of the US military. The team she assembled also included six coders; Rafi Abdella, Zach Devlin, Sarah Willis, Aiden Ferguson, Nathan Katz and Josh Abbott, who were tasked with build software for a drone that would appeal to gamers like Jake, who even consulted on the designing of the software. Between February and July, the team participated in fifteen successful missions, all of which involved drones piloted by Jake, although Jake himself was haunted by the reality of taking human lives as opposed to killing characters in a video game and by the fact that other personnel referred to his missions as "cutting the grass".
On July 28, 2016, the project took a disastrous turn when Jake mistakenly bombed an elementary school that Peakstone intelligence had indicated was an insurgent training camp in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, killing 372 children under the age of twelve, although Jake was apparently not aware of this at the time. As Peakstone was bidding for several contracts with the US government, the company covered up the incident, canceling the contracts of Jake and the coders and forcing Tori to report that it had been a terrorist stronghold Jake had destroyed. However, when Peakstone employees finish their service, they receive a letter from the company thanking them and providing them with statistics on their missions, including casualty reports. Jake received his letter from Peakstone and learned what had truly happened in Afghanistan all the while tormented by comments that his victims were "fun-sized terrorists". Appalled at what he had actually done, Jake set out to kill the six coders who had designed the drone for making the killing of children seem like a game and Tori, whom he blamed for making him a murderer.
Jake begins his killing spree by opening fire on the offices of Ori-Gamey, claiming the lives of Rafi, Zach and a security guard named Douglas Bell. As the company was a possible high-profile target for terrorism, the Department of Homeland Security assumes control of the investigation and requests the assistance of the BAU. After leaving the scene, Jake is seen in his car watching live news coverage of the shooting while reloading the rifle attached to his custom drone. Later that night, he shoots up a private residence that also served as the office for another tech firm GenYes, massacring the remaining four analysts from his team at Peakstone. The next day, Jake is seen reloading the rifle's drum magazine before loading it into the gun and attaching it to his drone. He then tests pilots the drone in his house. Jake later ambushes Tori in her car in a parking lot, while she speaks to Peakstone CEO Mr. X on her phone about Jake's murders. He fires on the SUV, disabling it before approaching Tori and abducting her, aiming his drone-mounted rifle at her. He then forces her to drive his car back to his house with a handgun. During the drive, Tori asks Jake why he is doing all of this. He responds by accusing her of not remembering him, which she denies, but Jake doesn't believe her. She then calls him by name, genuinely surprising him. When she asks where he is taking her, Jake says that she doesn't get to ask him questions. Back at his house, Jake tells Tori he didn't think she would remember him. She responds by telling him that she was happy when he joined her team. Jake bitterly states that Tori made the impression that he would only be playing video games and she comments that the software developed by the coders was similar to a game, reminding Jake that he gave input on the design. He then says "But it wasn't a game". Tori agrees with his statement, telling him that he was fighting for their country and he should be proud of his service. Jake replies that he wanted to be, but he was "not like the enlisted guys".
Although Tori reminds Jake that he served alongside enlisted personnel, he tells her they had said to him he never put his life at risk and "killed with the flick of a button" but they didn't know what they were talking about. Tori tells him "Everyone has a part to play" and Jake was just doing his. He tells her about the "cutting the grass" comments while Tori becomes increasingly agitated looking at the drone. She reminds him that the people he killed were terrorists and he did what needed to be done. Jake sadly tells her that they were only "shadows" on the screen and that other personnel referred to the little ones as "fun-sized terrorists" but says they were only children. Tori denies knowing what Jake is talking about and asks him to explain, but he angrily replies that she does know, becoming more aggressive with his gun. When Tori asks him what he wants from her, he puts his gun on the table and replies that he wants to know why X told Jake about the missions. He tells her about the letter he received after the contract was canceled, which Tori tells him she has nothing to do with. However, Jake doesn't believe her and talks about the "insurgent training camp" and the casualties in their final mission. She tells him again that he should be proud of his service with Peakstone. He asks her "Don't you know?". Tori answers that after she assembles a team, she has no involvement in the missions. Jake then turns his back to her and sadly says he wishes he didn't know about the missions. Seizing an opportunity to escape, Tori grabs Jake's gun and shoots him before running away. Though Jake survives the gunshot, minutes after Tori escapes, Mr. X hacks and takes control of the drone, using it to gun down Jake, shooting him repeatedly in the chest. His body is later found by Rossi and Simmons.
Jake killed all of his victims using a drone in some way. In his final mission with Peakstone, he used a drone to bomb a school mistaken for an insurgent training camp, killing 372 children under the age of twelve. It can be safely assumed that he used drones in similar strikes in his fifteen successful missions with Peakstone.
When Jake began his killing spree, he specifically targeted those who were assigned to his team. He would open fire on their workplaces using a folded Heckler & Koch G36C with a C-drum magazine mounted to a small drone that he would pilot from a nearby location. The only exception was Douglas Bell, a security guard at Ori-Gamey, who was killed out of necessity as he could have disabled Jake's drone if he had returned fire with his sidearm. During the Ori-Gamey attack, because of a large number of bystanders, Jake fired a single burst of gunfire that killed Rafi Abdella instantly, paused briefly before subsequently firing two more controlled bursts, killing Bell and Zach Devlin, respectively, in rapid succession. Each victim was shot between ten and twenty times in the torso.
Hours later, in the N-GEN Yes massacre, Jake struck on the rare occasion that the four remaining coders were working on the same shift. Like the first attack, Jake fired rapid bursts of gunfire, killing his victims by shooting them repeatedly in the torso except for Aiden Ferguson, who was shot in the head and neck. When he abducted Tori, Jake ambushed her in a parking lot, using his drone-mounted rifle to disable her vehicle before forcing her to drive to his home armed with a Beretta 92 handgun. He later held her at gunpoint repeatedly with that same handgun.
The unsub is operating alone and using a drone to kill multiple targets in each location. He is a white male in his mid-to-late twenties and is extremely tech astute. He does not appear to be motivated by religious extremism nor by racial hatred. It's likely that he is motivated by a personal vendetta. The drone being used is not a common hobbyist drone. It is custom-built to be a fully automatic remote weapon. Based on security footage of the device, it shares features with certain military drones, albeit much smaller. As a result, it is believed that the unsub is either ex-military or military trained. Most importantly, the unsub appears to have a kill list. Rather than indiscriminately shooting as many people as possible at the Ori-Gamey offices, he specifically targeted his victims. At this point, the unsub has killed seven individuals, all of whom were employed in the tech industry. Aside from this shared industry of employment, the specific connection between these victims has not been identified. Said connection will be key to identifying the unsub. Until that connection is made, the unsub will work his way down his kill list and possibly target more tech companies.
- February-July 2016: Presumably killed hundreds of unnamed victims during his time as a drone pilot in fifteen successful missions with Peakstone
- July 28, 2016, Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan: 372 unnamed children (mistaken for insurgents; the incident was covered up by Peakstone until 2017)
- 2017, Silicon Valley, California, U.S.:
- October 11:
- The Ori-Gamey office shooting:
- Rafi Abdella
- Douglas Bell (a security guard; incidental; killed for drawing his weapon; shot 17 times in the head and torso)
- Zach Devlin (shot 14 times in the torso and neck)
- The N-GEN Yes massacre:
- Aiden Ferguson (shot repeatedly in the head and neck)
- Sarah Willis
- Nathan Katz
- Josh Abbott
- The Ori-Gamey office shooting:
- October 12: Tori Hoffstadt (assembled the team of coders; abducted and held at gunpoint; she escaped)
- October 11:
- Jake seems to have been inspired by Luke Dolan ("Dorado Falls") - Both served the U.S. in some way (Dolan was a Navy SEAL; Peakstone was contracted by the U.S. government), committed at least one workplace shooting (although Dolan also stabbed some of his victims), suffered from a form of post-traumatic stress and abducted an individual they held responsible for their actions in their service.
- With his final body count at an estimation of over 379 people, Jake is the eighth of only eight unsub in the show's history who are confirmed to have claimed hundreds of lives. The others seven killers are:
- Vincent Perotta ("Natural Born Killer") - A serial killer who killed over 100 people.
- Frank Breitkopf in Season Two - A serial killer who had killed at least 176 people.
- Billy Flynn in Seasons Five and Six - A serial killer who killed over 200 people.
- Thomas Yates in Seasons Seven and Eleven - A serial killer who killed at least 103 people.
- Hayman Vasher ("A Thousand Suns") - A mass murderer who killed 151 people.
- Sharon Mayford ("Entropy") - A mass murderer who killed at least 173 people.
- Cat Adams in Seasons Eleven and Twelve - A serial killer who killed over 200 people.
- And of all eight of these unsubs, Jake has the highest known body count, making his the highest body count of any other criminal in the show's history.
- ↑ Given his bombing of the school, it is likely he committed similar attacks while employed at Peakstone