On Oct. 1, a gunman killed 58 people and injured hundreds more after firing on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas from a hotel room. Now, conspiracy theorists are trying to claim that the shooting never happened, or that it was all an elaborate plot.
Despite the overwhelming coverage of the attack, including photos and videos of the shooting and interviews with the victims, some theorists are making claims that the government staged the shooting or that the victims were actors, The Guardian reports.
Braden Matejka, who survived being shot in the head during the attack, said that he has received death threats since the attack from people who believe he was not injured. The harassment has forced him to shut down his social media accounts.
“You are a lying piece of shit and I hope someone truly shoots you in the head,” one person wrote to him. “Your soul is disgusting and dark! You will pay for the consequences!” added another.
Taylor Matejka, Braden’s brother, shared screenshots of the comments Braden has received.
“There are all these families dealing with likely the most horrific thing they’ll ever experience, and they are also met with hate and anger and are being attacked online about being a part of some conspiracy,” Taylor said. “It’s madness. I can’t imagine the thought process of these people. Do they know that we are actual people?”
The theorists have targeted victims and their families, writing that the victims are "crisis actors" and are "scamming" the public with their stories.
“It makes you angry,” said Rob McIntosh, who was shot in the arm and chest and has been accused of being an actor. “You’ve already been through something that’s traumatic and terrible, and you have someone who is attacking your honesty. You don’t even have the opportunity to respond.”
Taylor Matejka added, “If you want to spend your whole life searching conspiracies on the internet, you’re free to do that, but it shouldn’t come at a cost to the victim’s wellbeing.”
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