The man who fired shots in a pizza parlor to investigate a rightwing conspiracy theory known as “Pizzagate” is apologizing, the Associated Press reported.
Edgar Maddison Welch, who pleaded guilty on charges that he brought an assault rifle into the restaurant and fired multiple rounds while inside, submitted the apology in a letter ahead of his June 22 sentencing.
Welch did not injure anyone in the shooting, and surrendered peacefully. His attorney hopes to restrict his sentence to 1 1/2 years in prison, while prosecutors are pushing for a 4 1/2 year sentence.
Welch said he had entered the restaurant to investigate false internet rumors that the pizza shop Comet Ping Pong was housing sex slaves for Democratic politicians.
“I came to D.C. with the intent of helping people I believed were in dire need of assistance, and to bring an end to a corruption that I truly felt was harming innocent lives,” he wrote in the letter.
He said now that he did not consider the repercussions of his actions.
"It was never my intention to harm or frighten innocent lives, but I realize now just how foolish and reckless my decision was," he wrote.
Prosecutors, however, are hoping that giving Welch a “significant sentence” would “deter other would-be vigilantes from attempting similar crimes against innocent subjects of the next internet-inspired conspiracy theory.”