FACT CHECK: No, The Mass Shooting In Boulder Was Not A ‘False Flag’ Operation

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims the March 22 mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, was a “false flag” operation.

Facebook/Screenshot

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

The Boulder shooting was not a “false flag” operation. 10 people were killed during the mass shooting, and witnesses have given media outlets accounts of their experiences during the shooting.

Fact Check:

10 people were killed in a mass shooting at a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, on March 22, the Coloradoan reported. The suspected shooter was taken into custody an hour later, according The Denver Post.

Shortly after the shooting, some social media users began sharing a post claiming that the shooting was a staged “false flag” operation. A “false flag” operation is an act designed to look like it was committed by someone other than the true perpetrator so that blame would be wrongly assigned, according to Newsweek.

“So called shooting in Boulder, CO is fake…false flag like most of the others. Don’t doubt me on this,” the post claims. (RELATED: ‘#GunControlNow’ – Did Maxine Waters Send This Tweet About Gun Ownership?)

There is no evidence, however, that the shooting was staged. Boulder Police Department named the suspected shooter, 21 year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa of Colorado and have charged him with 10 counts of first degree murder, according to an update from Boulder police. Alissa was sent to the county jail Tuesday after being treated for a gunshot wound in the hospital, ABC News reported. The names of the 10 victims have been released by police, who, according to CNN, have not determined a motive for the shooting yet.

The New York Times reported that three hours of live-streamed footage that was taken by a bystander during the shooting was posted on YouTube. The Denver Post published a still from ZFG Videography, the YouTube channel where the live stream was posted, showing Alissa being taken away from the scene by police. Witnesses also recounted the experience of being in the active shooter situation to ABC affiliate Denver7.

Social media users have previously alleged “false flag” conspiracy theories in the wake of mass shootings. Such baseless conspiracy theories circulated after the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016 and a concert in Las Vegas in 2017, according to PolitiFact.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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