WASHINGTON - Police say a man 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 Washington, D.C., restaurant Sunday.
The incident began when a suspect allegedly armed with an assault rifle entered the Comet Ping Pong Sunday afternoon. Investigators closed a portion of Connecticut Avenue from Fessenden Street to Nebraska Avenue NW as police swarmed the area.
D.C. Police say the suspect entered the location and pointed a firearm in the direction of a store employee who was able to flee and notify officers. Police say no one was injured when the suspect discharged the firearm inside of the store at least one time. Police arrested the suspect without incident and recovered two firearms - a cold assault rifle and a handgun - inside the location. An additional weapon - a rifle - was recovered from the suspect's vehicle.
The suspect was identified as Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina. He was arrested and charged with Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun). During a post-arrest interview this evening, the suspect revealed that he came to the establishment to self-investigate "Pizza Gate"
The pizza restaurant on Connecticut Avenue recently became the target of harassment and negative reviews on social media after it became a victim of fake news stories that went viral just before the presidential election.
Using the hashtag #PizzaGate, many on social media slammed Comet Ping Pong after floating conspiracy theories claimed the pizza shop along with Hillary Clinton and her campaign were involved in child trafficking and satanic rituals.
I have been briefed on the Comet incident. Suspect is in custody; no injuries were sustained. @DCPoliceDept will provide an update to media— MurielBowser (@MurielBowser) December 4, 2016
But all of the claims against the popular Northwest D.C. pizzeria are false and unfounded. The D.C. Police Department said they are not investigating Comet Ping Pong and are instead keeping an eye on those who are threatening the restaurant and employees.