MONDAY UPDATE — Pizzagate conspiracy theorists are now claiming Sunday’s gun incident is a hoax.
Police have also released details about the alleged shooter. Twenty-eight years old Edgar Madison Welch traveled to Northwest DC to “self-investigate” the Pizzagate conspiracy. He entered the restaurant with an “assault-style” AR-15 rifle and pointed it at an employee, who was able to flee. Welch then discharged the weapon into the pizzeria’s ceiling.
— Heavy.com (@HeavySan) December 5, 2016
It took police about 45 minutes to secure the restaurant and subdue Welch, who is now facing charges of assault with a dangerous weapon.
Comet Ping Pong owner James Alefantis released a statement last Sunday night, excoriating Internet investigators for perpetuating a false narrative. “What happened today demonstrates that promoting false and reckless conspiracy theories comes with consequences. I hope that those involved in fanning these flames will take a moment to contemplate what happened here today, and stop promoting these falsehoods right away.”
SUNDAY — Pizzagate took a turn for the bizarre on Sunday, as a man with a rifle walked into Comet Ping Pong, the DC-based pizza parlor that Internet conspiracy theorists say is at the center of an international child sex ring run by prominent Democrats.
Washington, D.C., police arrested a man Sunday afternoon, after restaurant employees saw a man, described as being in his early 20s and carrying an “assault rifle,” work his way through the dining room and then attempt to enter the staff work area at the back of the building.
— jeffgep (@jeffgep) December 4, 2016
Restaurant workers acted quickly, getting staff and patrons—including a number of children—to safety and dialing 911. Authorities were quick to respond. They subdued and arrested the man and secured the restaurant. No shots were fired and no one was injured.
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
“A lot of us saw he had a gun and we all started getting our families out,” one patron told the Washingtonian. “The staff came and got us.”
Comet Ping Pong has been at the center of the “Pizzagate” conspiracy, an alleged child sex ring that operates out of several prominent locations in the nation’s capital. Pizzagate, according to Internet theorists, also involves a number of high-profile Democratic politicians and operatives, including Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta.
According to Reddit’s (now-banned) social media investigators, Podesta, Clinton, and Comet Ping Pong’s owners run the criminal enterprise (and conduct Satanic rituals) out of the restaurant. They cite the restaurant’s eclectic interior, bizarre social media postings, Podesta’s emails (which include a number of references to pizza), and Podesta’s brother’s collection of contemporary art as evidence of the cabal.
In past weeks, Comet Ping Pong employees have been subjected to an “endless” barrage of Pizzagate-related threats and harassment. Sources close to the restaurant tell Heat Street that the restaurant has had to increase security for its weekly concerts, and that several employees have quit after photos of their families were pulled from social media pages and passed around the Internet.
By Monday morning, Internet theorists were already claiming that the incident was a hoax, and that the gunman was an actor, hired by Comet Ping Pong to distract from the criminal conspiracy. Aside from an IMDB page, there seems to be no substantial support for this claim.