Edgar Welch, a 28-year-old North Carolina man who opened fire inside a popular pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C., has told investigators that he went there to “self-investigate” a Clinton-linked conspiracy theory known as Pizzagate.
The incident happened just before 3 p.m. ET on Sunday when a man armed with a firearm walked into the Comet Ping Pong restaurant, which is located at 5037 Connecticut Avenue in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of northwest D.C.
“The suspect entered the location and pointed a firearm in the direction of the victim who is an employee of the restaurant,” D.C. police said in a statement. “The victim was able to flee and notify police. The suspect proceeded to discharge the rifle inside of the establishment.”
The shooting caused employees and guests to flee in panic and prompted nearby buildings to be put on lockdown as officers responded. The gunman was taken into custody without further incident and a second weapon was found inside his vehicle. No one was injured.
Welch, a 28-year-old man from Salisbury, North Carolina, has been charged with Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. “During a post arrest interview this evening, the suspect revealed that he came to the establishment to self-investigate Pizza Gate,” police said.
Pizzagate refers to a conspiracy theory that alleges the existence of a secret society of pedophiles that operates through Comet Ping Pong. The restaurant is owned by a man who was once in relationship with David Brock, an associate of Hillary Clinton and her former campaign chief, John Podesta.
The allegations trace back to online postings and no credible evidence has surfaced to support them, but the conspiracy theory continues to attract attention. And while most of the speculation is limited to online discussion boards, Comet owner James Alefantis says he has been the target of harassment.
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