Jailed ‘Pizzagate’ Gunman: ‘The Intel On This Wasn’t 100 Percent’

Jose Luis Magana/FR159526 AP

The North Carolina man jailed for allegedly firing a gun inside a Washington, D.C. pizza restaurant he believed was at the heart of a child sex trafficking ring has some regrets.

In a Wednesday jailhouse interview with The New York Times, Edgar Maddison Welch said he “just wanted to do some good and went about it the wrong way.”

Welch was arrested and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon on Sunday after barging into Comet Ping Pong with an AR-15 rifle and Colt .38 handgun to search the premises for child sex slaves. He had bought into a bogus online conspiracy which holds that Democratic Party operatives, including Hillary Clinton, were tied to the sex ring because its owner exchanged emails with her campaign chair about a fundraising dinner.

Welch told the Times he learned about “Pizzagate” from friends and then conducted his own online investigation once he had internet installed at his house. His research convinced him that “something nefarious was happening.”

This feeling prompted him to drive from Salisbury, North Carolina, to D.C. to give the restaurant a “closer look,” he told the Times. A father of two, Welch worked himself up on the drive thinking of the children he believed to be imprisoned, and at some point decided to enter the restaurant armed.

Though he didn’t tell the Times why he brought the AR-15 into Comet Ping Pong, court documents reveal he allegedly told police that he was armed to “rescue” the children.

Welch admitted to the Times that “the intel on this wasn’t 100 percent” after he found no children inside of the restaurant.

He told the newspaper that Alex Jones, who used his conspiracy site InfoWars to promote the “Pizzagate” conspiracy and whose page he follows on Facebook, was “a bit eccentric.”

“He touches on some issues that are viable but goes off the deep end on some things,” Welch explained.

The 28-year-old, who is expected to appear in court again Thursday, said he wished Sunday had gone differently and he had not held up the restaurant.

“I regret how I handled the situation,” he told the Times.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK