Edgar Welch fired an assault rifle inside a Washington pizza restaurant, believing internet rumors that prominent Democrats were harboring child sex slaves there.
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Judge Ketanji B Jackson said she had never seen a case like Welch’s, and she gave him a punishment on the upper end of guidelines, in part to send a message to others.
If Welch believed an internet conspiracy theory that children were being harmed at the restaurant, he should have notified law enforcement, not attempted to take the law into his own hands, the judge said during Thursday’s hearing in US district court in Washington.
Jackson said it was “sheer luck” that no one was physically injured when Welch entered Washington’s Comet Ping Pong restaurant on 4 December armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and a revolver.