"I just wanted to do some good," says the man who allegedly fired an assault rifle inside a pizzeria in Washington, DC, on Sunday, though he admits he "went about it the wrong way." Speaking to the New York Times, Edgar Maddison Welch, 28, explains he traveled 350 miles from his home in Salisbury, NC, to give the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria a "closer look" having heard the "PizzaGate" conspiracy theory that it's a base for a child sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton. (Its owner once contacted Clinton's campaign about a fundraising dinner.) "The intel on this wasn't 100%," says Welch, who found much of his information online. But while en route, Welch felt his "heart breaking over the thought of innocent people suffering."
When he arrived at the pizzeria, the father of two pulled an assault rifle from his vehicle and went inside to rescue children, but none were inside, he says. Authorities arrested and charged Welch with assault with a dangerous weapon after he allegedly fired shots at walls and a computer. Welch had the "impression something nefarious was happening" and "I regret how I handled the situation," he says. However, Welch wouldn't say there was no truth to PizzaGate rumors—which can be traced to a white supremacy Twitter account, per BuzzFeed—and admitted that he's listened to radio host Alex Jones, who has said Clinton "has personally murdered and chopped up" children. DNA Info reports believers have now begun threatening Roberta's pizzeria in Brooklyn. (Read more conspiracy theory stories.)