Fake news pizzeria shooter pleads guilty, faces 7 years

The North Carolina man who fired an assault rifle inside Washington pizzeria Comet Ping Pong last December pleaded guilty to two charges on Mar. 24. Edgar Maddison Welch said he was motivated by the storm of fake online news about a suspected child traffi

The Salisbury man who police say was inspired by "fake news" to fire an assault weapon in a Washington pizza shop pleaded guilty Friday.

Our news partner WSOC-TV reported that Edgar Welch, who fired multiple shots inside of Comet Ping Pong pizzeria after he went to "self-investigate" an Internet conspiracy involving Democrats in December 2016, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of transporting a firearm and ammunition as well as a charge of assault with a unsafe weapon.

Welch pleaded guilty to a federal charge of interstate transport of firearms and a D.C. charge of assault with a unsafe weapon.

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Welch faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in June.

Prosecutors dropped a D.C. charge of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence, which carried a minimum sentence of 5 years.

"According to the government's evidence, on Sunday, December 4, 2016, Welch transported three loaded firearms, together with ammunition, from North Carolina to Washington, D.C. The firearms included a 9mm AR-15 assault rifle loaded with approximately 29 rounds of ammunition, a fully-loaded, six-shot, .38-caliber revolver, and a loaded shotgun with additional shotgun shells".

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An employee who was returning from another restaurant with some pizza dough entered the pizzeria through a side door, just a few feet from Welch, who then pointed the AR at him. Welch made his way to the back of the restaurant with no one interfering. According to court documents, the employees and customers fled and Welch found a locked storage closet. It turned out that there was a worldwide conspiracy theory. based inside of Reddit and was being sent out through YouTube and Facebook and other places and that's sort of an insanely complicated, made-up, fictional lie-based story.

"This was a coordinated political attack", said Mr Alefantis.

US District Judge Ketanji Jackson of the District of Columbia asked Welch during the sentencing hearing if he was the culprit who stormed the Comet Ping Pong on December 4.

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