A Salisbury, North Carolina, man is in custody after police say he walked into a popular Washington, D.C., restaurant Sunday afternoon carrying an assault rifle.
The man told police he had come to the restaurant to "investigate" a 2016 election-related conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton. The D.C.-restaurant, Comet Ping Pong, was the subject of a fake news story that falsely alleged that it was the site of a child abuse ring run by Clinton, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Washington Post reports that 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch walked into the front door of the restaurant and pointed the gun at a restaurant employee.
The employee was able to escape and notify authorities, but police told the Washington Post that Welch fired the rifle inside the restaurant.
In addition to the assault rifle Welch was carrying, officers recovered two additional firearms inside the restaurant and another weapon in the suspect's car.
Initially, police said the motive was unclear, but residents suspected Sunday's incident may be related to what's become known as "PizzaGate."
In the days leading up to the election, Comet Ping Pong's owner, James Alefantis, and other employees received threats because of the same fake news story that Welch told police prompted him to come to the restaurant.
Pizzagate just ended with a man showing up at a DC pizzeria with a rifle. The kids are all drunk with the sheer destructive power of memes.— anarchival (@anarchival) December 4, 2016
The Washington Post reports that even retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who's been tapped to serve as President-elect Donald Trump national security advisor shared the fake story.
Welch was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.
The restaurant's owner would only tell CNN, "Everybody's safe."