Several victims of a recent mass shooting in Las Vegas say that conspiracy theorists skeptical of their experiences are harassing them online.
“It makes you angry,” Rob McIntosh, 52, told The Guardian on Thursday, recounting accusations from people online that he is an actor who faked his injuries.
“You’ve already been through something that’s traumatic and terrible, and you have someone who is attacking your honesty,” added McIntosh, who was shot in the arm and chest in Las Vegas during the Oct. 1 attack. “You don’t even have the opportunity to respond.”
Braden Matejka, 30, survived a bullet to the head during the rampage by gunman Stephen Paddock earlier this month.
“It’s madness,” his brother Taylor Matejka said of the online conspiracy theorists. “I can’t imagine the thought process of these people.”
“Do they know that we are actual people?” he asked, sharing with The Guardian dozens of screenshots detailing abusive comments directed at his sibling.
“There are all these families dealing with likely the most horrific thing they’ll ever experience, and they are also met with hate and anger and being attacked online about being a part of some conspiracy.”
The Guardian reported that some people claim the Oct. 1 shooting was staged by the government, while others allege that the tragedy was a hoax.
The conspiracy theorists have since targeted survivors and their loved ones, flooding social media platforms with hurtful remarks and misinformation.
Users on Facebook and YouTube especially, according to The Guardian, have called people like Braden Matejka “crisis actors” who were hired to pose as shooting victims.
Braden Matejka has shut down his social media accounts in response to the comments, which have spread to his family and friends.
“You are a lying piece of s--- and I hope someone truly shoots you in the head,” one person wrote to Braden Matejka a week after he was shot.
“Your soul is disgusting and dark!” another said. “You will pay for the consequences!”
Paddock opened fire on an outdoor concert from his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
The shooter was ultimately found dead inside the room after killing at least 58 people and wounding at least 500 others.
The bloodbath is the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, and it has since reignited national debate over gun control.