WASHINGTON — Police said a man who fired a gun in a D.C. pizza place Sunday told authorities he had traveled here to investigate rumors about a Clinton-linked scandal.
Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of Salisbury, N.C., has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon after the incident at Comet Ping Pong in the northwest part of the District.
The restaurant had decided to upgrade security at its concerts, they said in a statement last week, after its employees and owner James Alefantis — who was in one of the leaked emails from Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s account, discussing a campaign fundraiser — were receiving phone and social media threats.
“Comet Ping Pong, like any respectable venue, is dedicated to creating a safe and inviting space for all of our concert-goers,” the business said Thursday on their Facebook page. “There have been no hostile situations at the venue, and we do not anticipate any altercations as much of the harassment has occurred online, but as we have before we now have security present at every show.”
D.C. Metro police said they received a call just before 3 p.m. of a suspect who “entered and pointed a firearm in the direction of the victim who is an employee of the restaurant.”
“The victim was able to flee and notify police. The suspect proceeded to discharge the rifle inside of the establishment.” No one was injured. Welch was arrested “without incident.”
Police said they recovered two guns in the restaurant and one in the suspect’s car.
“During a post arrest interview this evening, the suspect revealed that he came to the establishment to self-investigate ‘Pizza Gate’ (a fictitious online conspiracy theory),” the police statement continued.
The Pizzagate theory claims that Alefantis, the ex-boyfriend of Media Matters for America found David Brock, and the restaurant, neighboring businesses and Podesta are linked to a pedophilia ring.
The D.C. police have asked anyone with information about Welch or Sunday’s incident at the restaurant to call (202) 727-9099.