A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to opening fire in the pizzeria at the center of the fake news "Pizzagate" scandal involving former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
4 authorities reported that Welch fired multiple shots inside the restaurant in Washington D.C. after driving from Salisbury to "self-investigate" a conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton used the restaurant for a child sex ring.
Welch agreed to pay $5,744 in restitution to the restaurant, Comet Ping Pong, to cover damage to computer systems, a door and a lock, and a ping pong table; according to charging documents, he fired several shots inside the restaurant.
The 28-year-old on Friday pleaded guilty to the federal charge of interstate transport of firearms and a local charge of assault with a unsafe weapon, ABC News reported.
He could face up to two years in prison on the federal charge and a maximum five years for the assault charge.
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The group said it was an Israeli drone that had carried out the strike. The Israeli military denied that any planes had been struck. Israel officials were quoted as saying.
Welch admitted to transporting the weapons from North Carolina in court Friday, and then openly bringing them into the pizza shop before pointing the rifle in the direction of a person. An employee who was outside said that he heard three loud bangs, and that when he came inside Welch pointed the rifle at him, an allegation that Welch denied.
Investigators say when he arrived at the restaurant, he went inside carrying an AR-15 rifle and a revolver, sending employees and customers running for their lives. Welch made his way to the back of the restaurant with no one interfering. Welch read the fake news on non-credible websites and watched YouTube videos that spread the fake story, according to the plea agreement.
The owner of the restaurant, James Alefantis, had spoken out about the conspiracy theory just a week before the attack, telling NPR: "I was receiving many direct messages on Instagram and comments on my Instagram page".
Welch's official sentencing is set for June 22 - in the meantime, he will remain jailed.