WASHINGTON – The Latest on a man who police say fired shots in a pizza restaurant while he investigated a fake news story (all times local):
A pizza restaurant in Washington has reopened two days after a man stormed in with a rifle in what police say was an attempt to investigate a fake news story.
WTTG-TV reports owner James Alefantis spoke to reporters outside Comet Ping Pong on Tuesday evening, saying he's "overwhelmed and incredibly touched by the support of our community."
Alefantis also thanked his staff. "My employees are an incredible group of young people and they inspire me every day," he says. "These are people who are hardworking, incredibly wonderful, generous people."
Edgar Maddison Welch of North Carolina was arrested after firing an assault rifle inside the restaurant. No one was hurt. Police say he told them he investigating the false "Pizzagate" conspiracy, which claims prominent Democrats are running a child sex-trafficking operation there.
Bizarre rumors that began with a leaked email referencing Hillary Clinton and sinister interpretations of references to pizza parties morphed into fake news stories about a child sex trafficking ring run by prominent Democrats operating out of a Washington, D.C., pizza joint.
On Sunday, it culminated in violence when police say a North Carolina man fired an assault rifle inside the Comet Ping Pong restaurant as he attempted to "self-investigate" the conspiracy theory known in the Twitterverse as "Pizzagate."
No one was hurt and the man was arrested. But the shooting alarmed those from neighboring businesses all the way to the White House about the real life dangers of fake news on the internet.