Edgar Maddison Welch, a man from Salisbury, North Carolina, 28 years old at the time of the shooting, was the gunman who fired two shots inside of Comet Ping Pong at the 4th of december, 2016.
Edgar Maddison Welch in a picture from his Facebook profile
According to Lee Elmore, an employee of Comet Ping Pong, everyone started to panic when he walked towards the back of the restaurant.
When he was arrested, Welch told police he was self-investigating the theory that Comet Ping Pong was a sex child-trafficking center.
After he found no evidence children were being harbored in the restaurant, he surrendered.
The police charged Welch with assault with a dangerous weapon.
After the shooting, James Alefantis, the owner of the pizzeria, said: “What happened today demonstrates that promoting false and reckless conspiracy theories does come with consequences,”
Between Fessenden Street and Nebraska Avenue NW, Connecticut Avenue was closed that day, but reopened about 6 p.m. after the police found nothing hazardous in the area.
According to court documents, Welch drove from his home to Comet Ping Pong to see for himself what it was all about. After arriving in the restaurant, he fired from a weapon, an AR-15 rifle, police said. In the restaurant a rifle and a handgun were found.
James Alefantis closed the restaurant for a few days after the shooting. Two days after the shooting the restaurant was reopened again.
The criminal complaint filed in the Comet Ping Pong shooting
Download a PDF of the criminal complaint here
Friends of Welch said the shooting was out of character with how they know him.
He later said how he “regret(s) how I handled the situation“. Edgar Madisson welch gave an interview to Adam Goldman of The New York Times (which can be read here) as he sat in D.C. jail, in which he said he first planned to just take a closer look, but changed his plans later when he arrived, firing a shot. Court documents said he had come armed to the restaurant “to rescue children”.
About the fact that Welch discovered there were no children harbored in Comet Ping Pong, he told Goldman: “The intel on this wasn’t 100 percent,”.
Welch said he didn’t like the term fake news, because he thought it was ment to diminish stories outside the mainstream media, which he doesn’t trust. He also said he isn’t political and didn’t vote for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but he said that he hoped Donald Trump would bring the US “in the right direction”.
Goldman said that Welch was soft-spoken and polite and cautious to speak about what happened, citing his lawyer.
He said he doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories, but thought 9/11 needs to be re-examined. He also said he likes to listen to Alex Jones.
On Tuesday the 24th of January 2017, ABC7 wrote that there was a surprising turn in the case. Prosecutors had offered Edgar Maddison Welch a plea deal when he would appear in Federal Court Tuesday the 31st of January 2017. Welch’s attorney said she received a call from prosecutors the 23th of January Monday in which they informed her of a plea proposal.
Welch’s parents believe their son underwent a personality change after he hit a 13-year-old boy with his car earlier in October 2016.
Maddison has a career in the film industry, as can be seen in his IMDB profile, which can be seen here.
He was a production assistent for the films “The Mill” and “A Tale About a Bootlegging”. He wrote the film “Mute” and was an actor in the film “The Bleeding”.
On social media, his past in the film industry led to theories that he is a “crisis actor”, hired to carry out a “false flag” at Comet Ping Pong, Heavy.com writes.
At December the 5th 2017, an alternative news website, called 70news, proposed the theory that the the Comet Ping Pong gunman story was published 10 hours before it happened. He referred to the article itself, and an archived version of a Google Search of the article. A Voat user, Omnipotent1, pointed out that this is a known Google bug, in the following part of a post in a related Voat thread:
“You guys are embarrassing. It’s a known google bug to display times wrong. I believe google uses gmt by default and it messes with things like this.
Everyone is so quick to upvote without checking and confirming things. Not blaming the topic creator, he saw something odd and posted it.”
The author of the thread said at his website that Omnipotent1’s account was just 22 minutes old, but that scepticism was nevertheless important.
In a Google discussion about a similar case of an article which showed up as being published about 10 hours earlier, StevieD_Web from Google explained this Google bug:
“Google uses GMT in official documentation, such as the time reported in Google Cache.
I believe the reported time in the search results can come from various sources.
Obvious Googlebot GMT would be one of those sources.
Googlebot also reads the publication time from the server documentation. What is the reporting time of the server? Maybe the server is reporting the local time of the site owner. Or the local time of the server’s location. OR the server might be reporting GMT. In addition it is conceivable that the server published an incorrect time
Then there is the reported time on the page itself:
(. FEBRUARY 26, 2015 | 05:14PM PT )
In addition, you may be longed into your Google account, but your local time setting may be incorrect.
So now we got multiple times, none of which may match the others and some of them could be incorrect because of a faulty clock.
Bottom line, there are often errors in the reporting time shown in search results. After the first day, it doesn’t matter since 1 day is 1 day.”
Caleb Stephen from We Are Change, an organization of independent investigators, also claims that the attack was a false flag. According to him it is suspicious that on the 2nd of December, Comet Ping Pong has increased its’ security and on the 3rd of December, the traffic camera was re-directed. According to Rachel Kurzius from DCist, a website about Washington D.C., the increased security was a result of harassment over pizzagate which harmed Comet Ping Pong. In a Voat thread the moved camera at the 3rd of December is discussed.
User Fishy-business says: “Nothing seems coincidental anymore“.
User totesgoats908234 also thinks the new direction of the camera was strange: “Looking at gmaps, the camera is a dome camera, so you can’t see what direction its looking at. It is also the type of camera that can be controlled remotely in terms of pan and tilt. I am well familiar with surveillance cameras, specifically IP Cameras.
The direction it is turned at doesn’t really make sense to me because almost half of the screen is now recording just the post that is holding the camera up. If they wanted to record whatever that direction is originally, they wouldn’t have mounted it so that the view is so obscured.
User EndThePizza thought the harassment of Comet Ping Pong might be an explanation: “an explanation for that could be that CPP is concerned about harassment”
User Ninjakick666 speculated that someone might have taken over the camera because of bad security: “I remember a russian website that had a database of unsecured IP cameras that you could browse by geographic location… would you happen to know of an alternative? I had a blast just messing around on all those security cams on poles with their controls unlocked so I could pan and zoom all on my own.”
Some other users believe it is proof for a false flag attack, Drunkenmoba said: “Congrats on the spot. You found the precursor for the false flag attack.“