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A nearly three-year-old fabrication touting a fictitious elderly woman as a real vigilante has recently resurfaced on fake news sites.
The story goes that this 79-year-old woman looked out her kitchen window and saw two Los Angeles police officers struggling to match a local street gang’s firepower. Naturally, the woman then donned her bulletproof vest, busted out her personal AK-47 assault rifle and saved the officers by firing off 160 rounds at the gang members.
That didn’t happen.
This story was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The article originally appeared online in 2015 on World News Daily Report, a website with a disclaimer page saying, "All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle."
Since then, numerous fake news websites have copy-pasted the story, presenting it as a true act of heroism.
In addition to the text being fabricated, the photo caption of the officers who were supposedly saved misidentifies the officers in the photo. That picture originates from a 2010 blog about Melrose Village — a different neighborhood than the one where the incident supposedly took place.
We rate this story — written as a joke nearly three years ago — Pants on Fire.
Police Info, Grandmother with ak-47 saves cops being attacked by street gang, Feb. 20, 2018
Melrose Village Blog, "Support our local police station at Carnival Nov. 19-2," Nov. 8, 2010
World News Daily Report, "Disclaimer," accessed Aug. 20, 2018
World News Daily Report, "Grandma with AK-47 saves cops being attacked by street gang," September 2015
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