Gunfire at the Ft. Myers charitable event created a real-life running zombie herd, but the organizers’ security safeguards may have helped prevent further harm.
With cons and fan events growing in popularity, and shooting an almost everyday occurrence here in the US, one wonders if there will ever be an “incident” at a con. Well here’s one that MAY have been thwarted. It seems two invited participants in the Pokémon World Championships were arrested after making some online threats and showing up armed to the teeth:
Two men who drove from Iowa to Boston for the Pokémon World Championships were arrested Friday after seemingly threatening violence over social media against attendees of the event, according to the Boston Police Department.
Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, were arrested on several firearm-related charges. The official Pokémon site lists Kevin Norton and a James Stumbo, both from the U.S., as invitees in the “masters division” of the world championships of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
Security was alerted to threats made by the duo and stopped them from entering the event—which consists of people playing the card game. Inside the duos car they found a 12 gauge shotgun, an AR-15 rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. And a hunting knife. Because why wouldn’t you need lots of ammo to say “Go out Squirtle!”
The actual threats include the following Facebook conversation, accompanying a photo of the arsenal according to The Daily Beast:
“Kevin Norton and I are ready for Worlds Boston here we come!!!”
“Good luck!” wrote a Facebook user named Joey Faux.
“With killing the competition?” asked Norton.
“Haha yes,” replied Faux.
It does sound like this could have been an attempt at some kind of morbid humor, but…seriously people, why do you need your guns?
Organizers of the event released a statement:
Prior to the event this weekend, our community of players made us aware of a security issue. We gathered information and gave it as soon as possible to the authorities at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center who acted swiftly and spearheaded communication with the Boston Police Department. Due to quick action, the potential threat was resolved. The Pokémon Company International takes the safety of our fans seriously and will continue to ensure proper security measures are a priority.
While it’s not really clear what these bozos had in mind, it does seem rather chilling. As for other incidents, last December a furry convention in Rosemont was disrupted when a choline gas attack forced 19 people to be hospitalized. This seemed like quite a disturbing event, and I was wondering if a suspect or any background for the attack would ever be released..a few minutes of Googling didn’t turn anything up, but maybe Torsten can investigate with his superior search skills.
Anyway, glad no one was hurt. And let’s hope it stays that way.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.