"Pizzagate" Gunman Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison

He believed an internet rumor that the pizzeria was harboring a child-sex trafficking ring, so he drove four hours to shoot up the place. 

By Gina Tron

The “Pizzagate” gunman was sentenced Thursday to four years behind bars.

Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, of North Carolina had pleaded guilty in March to two charges stemming from a December incident at the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington D.C.

Welch fired a rifle inside the pizzeria, after believing an online conspiracy theory that claiming the pizzeria was harboring a child sex-trafficking ring with connections to influential Democrats. Nobody was injured in the shooting, when Welch fired three times into the establishment, armed with an AR-15 rifle and a .38 caliber handgun.

Federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said Thursday that Welch’s actions "literally left psychological wreckage," according to the Associated Press. He added that Welch should have contacted law enforcement if he believed the restaurant was engaged in something illegal.  Instead, he drove over 4 hours to "rescue" children from a non-existent sex-trafficking ring in the restaurant.

The New York Times reported in that the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory originated from the email hacking of Hillary Clinton's former presidential campaign chair, John Podesta, who knew the owner of the pizzeria. Podesta and the owner shared emails about a fundraiser, which resulted in speculation about a child-abuse ring on internet message boards.

In a letter to the court, according to NPR, Welch said he was "truly sorry for endangering the safety of any and all bystanders who were present that day."

[NBC News]

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