Pizza Shop Hoax Shooter Pleads Guilty to Gun Charges

Posted March 25, 2017

Edgar Madison Welch, who fired a gun inside a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant in December while investigating a conspiracy theory, pleaded guilty this morning to two charges, including interstate transport of a firearm and assault with a risky weapon.

Edgar Maddison Welch entered the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington DC in December previous year, armed with an AR-15 rifle.

Welch remains jailed, and he faces up to a seven-year prison term when sentenced later this year.

Welch pleaded guilty to a federal charge of interstate transport of firearms and a D.C. charge of assault with a risky weapon.

Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, signed a plea agreement in federal court admitting guilt to the charges stemming from the December 4, 2016 incident that saw the gunman make the six-hour drive to the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant, according to court documents.

Police also recovered a shotgun and ammunition inside Welch's vehicle.

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After his arrest, Welch told The New York Times he "wanted to do some good, and went about it the wrong way", in self-investigating what authorities say is a false internet story that claimed a child sex ring was being run in the basement of the restaurant.

Welch surrendered to law enforcement following the incident, but his armed entrance shocked the pizzeria's staff and management, already beleaguered by the fake news story.

"Upon arriving at the restaurant, Welch parked his vehicle and armed himself". Welch arrived at the restaurant at about 3 p.m., where he proceeded inside with a.38 revolver on his hip and the loaded AR-15 in his grip.

Employees and customers inside the restaurant, including children, fled when Welch entered, according to charging documents.

He has also agreed to pay US$5,744 in restitution to Comet Ping Pong to cover the damage he did to a lock, door, computer and ping pong table.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson set the sentencing date for June 22, after a local charge was dropped against Welch accusing him of firearms possession during a crime of violence.