US

Officials: Potential for violence from fake news troubling

  • The front door of Comet Ping Pong pizza shop, in Washington, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. A fake news story prompted a man to fire a rifle inside a popular Washington, D.C., pizza place as he attempted to "self-investigate" a conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring from there, police said.  ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

    The front door of Comet Ping Pong pizza shop, in Washington, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. A fake news story prompted a man to fire a rifle inside a popular Washington, D.C., pizza place as he attempted to "self-investigate" a conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring from there, police said. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)  (The Associated Press)

  • Meighan Stone places a support banner with flowers outside the door of Comet Ping Pong pizza shop, in Washington, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. A fake news story prompted a man to fire a rifle inside a popular Washington, D.C., pizza place as he attempted to "self-investigate" a conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring from there, police said.  ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

    Meighan Stone places a support banner with flowers outside the door of Comet Ping Pong pizza shop, in Washington, Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. A fake news story prompted a man to fire a rifle inside a popular Washington, D.C., pizza place as he attempted to "self-investigate" a conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring from there, police said. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)  (The Associated Press)

  • Edgar Maddison Welch, 28 of Salisbury, N.C., surrenders to police Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Washington. Welch, who said he was investigating a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza place, fired an assault rifle inside the restaurant on Sunday injuring no one, police and news reports said. (Sathi Soma via AP)

    Edgar Maddison Welch, 28 of Salisbury, N.C., surrenders to police Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Washington. Welch, who said he was investigating a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza place, fired an assault rifle inside the restaurant on Sunday injuring no one, police and news reports said. (Sathi Soma via AP)  (The Associated Press)

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.