Comet Ping Pong restaurant faced a gunman, who was arrested Sunday after he walked into the pizzeria, located in Northwest Washington, with an assault rifle and opened fire.
The North Carolina man told police he came to the restaurant to “self-investigate” a conspiracy theory into the election, involving Hillary Clinton, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Police received a call about the incident shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday and immediately responded, swarming the D.C. neighborhood, prompting surrounding businesses to go into lockdown.
Police said Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, walked in the door of Comet Ping Pong and pointed his rifle toward one of the restaurant’s employees who fled, the WSJ reported.
“A bunch of people ran in from Comet and said a man walked in with a gun,” said Vivek Jain, who was eating lunch inside a nearby Indian restaurant at the time of the incident, according to The Washington Post.
Jain said that about 45 minutes after the shooting, he saw Welch walking backward out into the street with his hands up.
“He laid down on Connecticut Avenue and he was immediately picked up by the police and taken away,” Jain said, according to the Post.
Police said there were no reported injuries following the incident, and Welch is being charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, the WSJ noted.
The conspiracy theory Welch was “investigating” was about “Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza place,” according to CBS News.
The theory, which became known for its hashtag #PizzaGate, spread widely across social media.
Welch isn’t the first person to not only believe, but to also act on this false conspiracy theory, according to WUSA.
The station reported that two women were found banging on the patio at the pizzeria in late November, as they looked for the alleged tunnels believed to have been used for children trafficking.
“All of this is an underground tunnel that helps take the kids and transport them back and forth so they can do these rituals,” said one of the women, according to CBS News. “They are putting a lot of curses and spells over the city. They are kidnapping the children who are missing. They were never missing because D.C. know where they are.”
In a statement on Sunday, police said they recovered two firearms from inside Comet Ping Pong and another weapon that was located inside the suspect’s vehicle, CBS News reported.
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