A suspect entered the Comet Ping Pong with a loaded assault rifle last Sunday December 5, 2016. The suspect pointed the gun at an employee and fired several rounds inside the restaurant. The employee managed to fled the scene and notify the police.
Several nearby businesses were locked down due to the incident. Police eventually arrested the suspect who was identified as 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury North Carolina.
There were no reports of injuries.Welch will face charges for assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the incident. The authorities also recovered two additional firearms inside the restaurant and another weapon from Welch’s car.
Coment Ping Pong shooter, Edgar Maddison Welch, being arrested by police
According to a statement released by the police department, Maddison admitted during a post arrest interview that he came to the establishment to investigate the so called ‘Pizza Gate’. Pizza gate is a notorious online conspiracy theory that begun over a month ago that claims that Coment Ping Pong and its owner were involved in a child sex operation. The conspiracy claims that Clinton and her campaign chief ran a child sex ring in the restaurant.
Conspiracy theorists got the idea from a recent WikiLeaks article containing Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta’s name. The frequency of the use of the word pizza in the WikiLeaks article led conspiracy theorists to believe it was code word for pedophilia. It is frightening to believe that people would go to extreme violence to pursue false rumors.
Alefantis and his employees have been receiving death threats since the conspiracy theory spread online. The owner, James Alefantis, has denied all charges but this didn’t stop the false rumors from spreading online. Alefantis denied to speak to the media after the incident.