A potential shooting at the Pokemon World Championship in Boston was thwarted, police said Sunday.
James Austin Stumbo, 27, and Kevin Norton, 18, were arrested by the police from a nearby motel in Saugus, Massachusetts, on Saturday in connection with the possible shooting. The police said they were arrested “because of threats of violence made over social media.”
The suspects’ car was parked in a garage several blocks away from the Pokemon event. Upon inspection, a shotgun, AR-15 assault rifle, a hunting rifle, and 250 rounds of ammunition were found in the vehicle.
Stumbo and Norton did not have proper licenses to carry the weapons. They were charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.
‘Due to quick action, the potential threat was resolved’
“The BPD detectives did a great job in the stop and prevention of a potential tragedy,” Superintendent Paul Fitzgerald, commander of the Boston Police Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis, said, as reported by BPDNews.com.
According to The Daily Beast, Stumbo had posted a picture of the guns and car in the Facebook group, “Mayhem Pokemon Crew,” the caption of which was, “Kevin Norton and I are ready for Worlds Boston here we come!!!”
A Facebook user named Joey Faux wrote, “Good luck!”
Norton asked, “With killing the competition?” Faux replied to the comment, saying, “Haha yes.”
“Prior to the event this weekend, our community of players made us aware of a security issue,” the Pokemon International Company wrote in a statement on Sunday.
Suspects to be arraigned on Monday
According to the Pokemon International Company, “We gathered information and gave it as soon as possible to the authorities at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center who acted swiftly and spearheaded communication with the Boston Police Department. Due to quick action, the potential threat was resolved. The Pokemon Company International takes the safety of our fans seriously and will continue to ensure proper security measures are a priority.”
The event, which lasted from August 21 until Sunday, brought together playing card and video game enthusiasts.
“The relationship between police and private sector security is important in both our community policing philosophy, as well as our counter-terrorism strategy. 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,” Fitzgerald said, as reported by My Fox Boston.
Stumbo and Norton will be arraigned at the Boston Municipal Court on Monday.