Victims of the Las Vegas massacre are now facing a new kind of horror: the wrath of paranoid, online conspiracy theorists. Braden Matejka, 30, was shot in the head during the mass shooting that killed 58 people earlier this month. He survived, and within a week he was receiving death threats.
“You are a lying piece of s*** and I hope someone truly shoots you in the head,” one commenter wrote to Matejka on Facebook.
Another person wrote to him, “Your soul is disgusting and dark! You will pay for the consequences!”
His face is now on a viral meme, along with the caption: “I’m a lying c***!”
Matejka and his girlfriend were visiting Las Vegas from Canada when the gunfire erupted. According to the Guardian, Matejka shut down his social media accounts to avoid the harassment.
“There are all these families dealing with likely the most horrific thing they’ll ever experience, and they are also met with hate and anger and are being attacked online about being a part of some conspiracy,” Matejka’s brother Taylor Matejka told the Guardian. The sibling has also experienced online abuse. “It’s madness. I can’t imagine the thought process of these people. Do they know that we are actual people?”
Many conspiracy theorists have claimed that the mass shooting was hoax and that Braden and other victims are nothing more than “crisis actors,” paid to act as victims.
Matejka definitely isn’t the only victim of the crime being targeted.
Rob McIntosh, 52, was shot in the chest and arm. He has since been accused of being a “crisis actor.”
“It makes you angry. You’ve already been through something that’s traumatic and terrible, and you have someone who is attacking your honesty. You don’t even have the opportunity to respond.”