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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A man who took a rifle into a Washington pizza restaurant on Sunday “to self-investigate” a fake news report that it was operating a child abuse ring has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, police in the U.S. capital said.

Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of Salisbury, North Carolina, was charged after the incident at Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington near the Maryland border on Sunday afternoon.

The suspect entered the restaurant and pointed a gun at a restaurant employee, who fled and notified authorities, police said. The man then discharged the weapon inside the restaurant. There were no injuries.

Two weapons were found inside the restaurant and a third one was recovered from the man’s vehicle, police added.

They said the suspect during an interview with investigators “revealed that he came to the establishment to self-investigate ‘Pizza Gate’ (a fictitious online conspiracy theory),” the police statement said.

Last month, media outlets including the Washington Post and New York Times, reported about death threats against the owner of the restaurant after Internet postings said the restaurant was operating a child abuse ring led by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her top campaign aide.

Police said there was no active investigation of child abuse allegations there. The attack on Comet was considered an example of how fake news reports that proliferated during the election year affected people’s lives.

A Reuters witness at the restaurant with his 1-year-old child said it was crowded when the gunman entered, with many families dining.

The Reuters witness who was inside Comet at around 3 p.m. ET said he was paying his bill when he saw a man entering the restaurant’s front door. “It appeared to us he had a long rifle with him. We scattered,” he said.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Peter Cooney; Editing by Mary Milliken)

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17 responses to “Gunman ‘Investigating’ Fake News Story Fires Rifle In Crowded Restaurant”

  1. Only a matter of time for wing-nuts, particularly those who are attracted to conservative ideologies and who rely on fake news to set their agendas, to do more damage and kill somebody else.
    The depraved motivation to give out fake news, and an equally depraved business model and idea to facilitate the manufacture of bogus info, and award those who are demented enough to engage in this kind of nihilistic fantasy.
    The decline Trump supporters, and the rest of us, should be worried about has nothing to do with the economy, but we should all be worried about the decline in rational thought and about the mistaken idea that each individual has the right to determine his/her own unique set of standards re: right and wrong without the need to resort to a shared Standard. No need for me to say what that Standard is and Who sets it.

    • Feliciajnewburn says:

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    • dbtheonly says:

      Indeed Aaron,

      The mix of misdirected “scandals”, outraged recipients, and guns makes for a dangerous brew.

      I’d add the lack of foresight before taking action. Should one anticipate that someone might take action in response to such stories? But then again, only a few weeks ago, it was announced that the first automated, self-directed drone was deployed against ISIL. “This doesn’t end well”, my friend pointed out, “They’ve created the first Terminator.”

      Any idea of the Sturmbannfuhrer’s meaning?

    • Mama Bear says:

      I think more than a measure of people’s moral decay it is a measure of the level of emotional stability. Frankly, I had no idea there were so many emotionally unstable “influenceable” people on the planet, let alone right here in the US.
      There must be something afoot or T-rump would not have stirred it up. Where is Margaret Meade when we really need her?!

      • The lucky one says:

        A quick glance of which movies gross the most and which TV “reality” shows are popular will confirm the generally low level of emotional maturity in our “adult” population. George Carlin once remarked something to the effect that consider how smart the average person is and then realize that half of them are even more stupid.

        • dpaano says:

          I agree…I used to watch “Big Brother,” but I realized after a while that all this was teaching people was how to cheat, lie, and do whatever it takes to win….same thing for many of the other reality shows. This is NOT what I would want my young child to watch….or even an older one! These shows do NOT teach how to do things honestly and above board to get ahead!

      • Dan S says:

        Mental healthcare is definitely lacking & unfortunately they’ve come out of the closet since the poster child for mental issues ran for President & got enough of his peers to vote for him ????

    • dpaano says:

      Am I the only one that thinks the internet goes too far, as well as social media? We need more control over social media, not less! These “fake news stories” are going to cause major problems if they are allowed to continue. The Trump followers are seriously brainwashed into believing everything against Hillary and the Democrats that they’re told despite how ridiculous it may sound! That scares me more than anything! When will someone get seriously hurt because of these fake news idiots? How many people will die over ridiculous stories being touted by these individuals? I shudder to think about it! This is ONE reason why I am not on ANY social media site……it’s bad enough having to read the posts of these trolls on this site!

      • No you are not—I’ve become quite concerned now that I understand the rationale and the extent of the strategy and tactics behind the flurry of fake and bogus info in the media, and it seems to have taken on a new life since the Twitter-in-Chief and the electoral season got a full head of steam.
        I avoid the social media sites as well, because I have too many important things to do with my life than chat incessantly about trivial matters. And when technologies pay people to scatter fake information and reward such efforts shows how short-sighted and materialistic the CEO’s at Facebook and the other platforms have become. We’re being inundated by nihilism and chaotic thoughts. There’s a reason for the devolution of thought and behavior in the world as you well know also.

    • Stellajcokley says:

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      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !mj479d:
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    • The lucky one says:

      Once again Otto you have proven yourself to be the most idiotic poster.

      • Dan S says:

        And this is another deplorable I had to block. Their feeling so brazen reveling in Trumps upset win. That will be shortlived once they realize they been conned by 3 card Donnie

        • dpaano says:

          Dan: I also blocked him….along with several others. I just got tired of hearing their ridiculous and untrue statements and all the things that they were brainwashed into believing by the Trump gang! I can only hope that some day they will see the light, but by then, we’ll all be back in a recession or on the verge of a depression! Either way, we’ll be screwed!

  2. dpaano says:

    Just goes to prove again how stupid some of the Trump followers are! They read something and swear that it’s true……how ridiculous does this fake news story sound to those of us with a brain? Seriously??

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