WASHINGTON, D.C. — After a conspiracy-theory inspired gunman terrified a quiet pizza shop in DC’s upscale Chevy Chase neighborhood, locals are banding together to support the pizzeria all throughout this weekend.
Two thousand people have marked themselves as “going” on a Facebook event called Stand With Comet, and many have made good on this RSVP already, showing up to shower Comet Ping Pong Pizza with handmade signs of support or just to order a slice of their pizza.
Comet Ping Pong was the target of a conspiracy theory referred to as “Pizzagate”, which falsely alleged that the pizzeria was a front for high-profile Democrats to engage in pedophilia.
The heavily armed gunman (who fired shots, but didn’t injure anyone) told police after he was taken into custody that he traveled all the way from North Carolina to “investigate” Pizzagate.
“No doubt this awful event and the malicious mistruths spread beforehand have left the staff feeling unsafe and on edge. They need a little light in all this darkness,” said the Stand With Comet Facebook event page. (The restaurant has started a GoFundMe to fundraise for added security.)
The event was organized by Erick Sanchez, a self-described DC “public relationist”.
On Dec. 9, DC interim police chief Peter Newsham stopped by Comet to show his support for the community. On Twitter, Sanchez said Newsham was a “class act” and that he was honored to organize the event.
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) December 9, 2016
— Erick Sanchez 🧢 (@erickmsanchez) December 9, 2016