Cops May Have Thwarted Pokemon Massacre

2 men arrested after making threats against championship
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2015 12:26 AM CDT
Updated Aug 24, 2015 2:03 AM CDT
Cops May Have Thwarted Pokemon Massacre
A fan dressed as Pokemon's Pikachu walks past the lines before Preview Night at the 2015 Comic-Con International.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Invision/AP)

Two Iowa men who talked about "killing the competition" traveled to the Pokemon World Championships with mayhem on their minds and a carload of guns, police in Boston say. Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, were arrested in their hotel on Saturday, and police say they found unlicensed weapons, including an AR-15 rifle and a shotgun, reports the Boston Globe. A police spokeswoman tells the Globe that the pair had made "violent" threats on social media and it appears that they presented a "real, serious threat" to the championship, which attracted hundreds of players and thousands of spectators. Both men face firearms charges and could face more charges when they appear in court today.

Police started investigating the pair last Thursday after they were both barred from the Hynes Convention Center venue, the Daily Beast reports. In a statement, the Pokemon company said it contacted authorities before the event after the "community of players made us aware of a security issue." A Pokemon expert tells Kotaku he has interviewed Stumbo in the past and found him to be a "chill person," as well as "a self-proclaimed gun enthusiast." The expert says he believes it could all have been a "big joke," though he hadn't realized that the men had brought firearms to Boston. (America's biggest theater chain has stepped up security measures.)

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