Tucson Shootings Gov't Hoax: Conspiracy Theorists

Victims approached, alarmed by reps from one website site proclaiming just that

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 25, 2011 11:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – The conspiracy theories about the Gabrielle Giffords shooting have started to crop up—and one website in particular has been alarming survivors and others connected to the tragedy. The site, run by a Texas man, claims the Tucson shootings were actually a hoax staged by the government using actors. Two men connected to the site “tried to get into my home,” one victim tells the New York Times. They first claimed to be investigators attempting to discover whether the shooting was a hoax, and “wanted to know if I had any pictures,” the victim says.

Hospital personnel, relatives of victims, and potential trial witnesses have also received visits or had their pictures posted on the website, which claims that those involved resemble Tucson-area actors whose pictures can be found on the Internet. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department, which might normally ignore such a bizarre site, has actually passed information about it to its intelligence unit because of the confrontational nature of those involved. The FBI is also aware of the site.

This Jan. 8, 2011 file photo released by the Pima County Sheriff's Office shows Jared Loughner, charged with shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
This Jan. 8, 2011 file photo released by the Pima County Sheriff's Office shows Jared Loughner, charged with shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.   (AP Photo/Pima County Sheriff's Dept. via The Arizona Republic, File)
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There were bodies sent to the morgue, people’s loved ones. - Richard Kastigar, investigative chief of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department

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