Police: NC man 'investigating' conspiracy theory arrested after firing shots inside DC pizzeria

- Authorities say a man who fired a rifle inside a pizzeria in the nation's capital while investigating a fake news story about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring is expected to appear in court Monday afternoon.

Police say 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina, was arrested after Sunday's incident at Comet Ping Pong. No one was injured and he was arrested afterward.

Police spokeswoman Karimah Bilal says rounds were fired, possibly striking the walls, door and a computer.

Police say Welch told police he'd come to the restaurant to investigate reports that spread online during Clinton's unsuccessful run for the White House. Police have called those reports a "fictitious online conspiracy theory."

Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, says Welch is expected to make his first appearance in court sometime after 1 p.m. Monday.

It was unclear how long it might take before Welch's case is heard.

An incident report lists a Colt AR-15 rifle, a Colt .38 handgun, a shotgun and a folding knife among the items seized in the case. Welch is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, other weapons offenses and destruction of property.

Several area businesses have been affected. Politics and Prose is an independent bookstore a few doors down from Comet Ping Pong

Bookstore co-owners Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine said that while Comet Ping Pong has found itself at the center of the conspiracy theory, the bookstore and other businesses on the block also received threats and menacing phone calls in recent weeks.

Graham said the store has taken the threats seriously, reporting them to police. He expressed frustration that police seemed uninterested before Sunday's shooting in investigating more thoroughly.

Politics and Prose was open for business Monday; Comet Ping Pong was closed, as it normally is on Mondays. Neighbors brought flowers and cards to the restaurant storefront saying "We support Comet" and "we love you and stand by you."

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