The Boston Police Department thwarted what could have been a massacre at the Pokémon World Championship after two contestants allegedly boasted about their violent plans on social media.
Apparently, James Stumbo, 27, and Kevin Norton, 18, caught attention of the event’s security team after the 27-year-old posted a photo of a shotgun and a rifle laid on the back of a white car, on Facebook with the caption: “Kevin Norton and I are ready for Worlds Boston here we come!!!”
When someone commented “Good luck!” on the post, Norton responded “With killing the competition?”
Upon seeing the threatening post, the private security agency alerted intelligence officials about the alleged deadly threats. However, the Iowa men were only arrested on Saturday after they tried to enter the building for unknown reasons a day before the competition kicked off.
The police also found a shotgun, an assault rifle, a hunting knife and several hundred rounds of ammunition in the duo’s vehicle parked few blocks down from the convention center where the event was supposed to be held. Since neither of the men could produce a license, they have been both charged with unlawful possession of firearms, unlawful possession of ammunition and other firearms counts.
“The BPD detectives did a great job in the stop and prevention of a potential tragedy,” said Superintendent Paul Fitzgerald, commander of the police department's Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis. “This incident is a good example of private security reaching out to their local Boston police district and relaying information to detectives and BRIC analysts in order to identify the very real threat.”
As for the firearms, former Boston police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said the weapons are high-powered and could have caused a lot of damage – especially since the event included nearly 1,000 attendees from around the world.
“When we have a mass gathering like that, that kind of weaponry can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time,” he explained.
Both Norton and Stumbo are Pokémon players who were invited to the tournament under the Masters Division. However, it doesn’t seem like they’ll be able to partake in the competition this year at least.