A man fired a rifle on Sunday inside a Washington pizza restaurant that has been subjected to harassment based on false stories tying it to child abuse, the police said. No one was hurt, and the man was arrested.
The man, Edgar M. Welch, 28, of Salisbury, N.C., told the police that he had come to the restaurant, Comet Ping Pong, in northwest Washington, to “self-investigate” what is being called Pizzagate, an online conspiracy theory asserting, with no evidence, that the restaurant is somehow tied to a child abuse ring. He entered the restaurant shortly before 3 p.m. with a rifle and fired it at least once inside, the police said.
The gunfire sharply escalated what had already been a tense period for the restaurant, its employees and the quiet neighborhood since the fake stories began spreading. Dozens of threats against employees had been made via email and social media.
People inside the restaurant fled, and the police locked down the area, ordering patrons of a nearby bookstore and cafe called Politics and Prose to remain locked inside. Officers with rifles and protective gear surrounded the restaurant and apprehended Mr. Welch. Two additional firearms were found, one on Mr. Welch and the other in his vehicle, the police said.
The police closed down a normally busy Connecticut Avenue, which runs in front of the restaurant, for several hours Sunday as they searched the area for other potential threats.
If you are not a Right Wing lunatic you probably have not heard of pizzagate, so visiting this BBC article will bring you up to speed.
In a nutshell it was the result of a some prankster sites purposefully misreporting the content on those Podesta e-mails and a bunch of simple minded knuckledraggers taking it from there.
So even though Snopes identified this as bullshit back in November, it did nothing to change the minds of these cretins and this is the result.
It just goes to show that fake news is not only dangerous, it can in fact prove fatal.