Limbaugh
"It appears that the (Jacksonville) shooter was part of the Trump 'Resistance'."

Rush Limbaugh on Monday, August 27th, 2018 in in a blog post

False

Rush Limbaugh falsely claims Jacksonville shooter part of Trump ‘Resistance’

Police seen after a shooting at the Jacksonville Landing in Jacksonville, Aug. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Laura Heald)

In an attempt to find a motive behind a deadly shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., some conservative commentators misidentified the assailant as part of a political opposition movement against President Donald Trump.

Syndicated talk show radio host Rush Limbaugh went a step further, predicting the story would quickly vanish from headlines because the mainstream media is wary of publicizing stories in which "the resistance is taking up arms"

"I’m thinking you might not hear very much about this Jacksonville shooting after the preliminaries because it appears that the shooter was part of the Trump 'Resistance'," Limbaugh said Aug. 28, two days after two died and 10 others were injured in the incident.

But Limbaugh’s claim is based on erroneous reporting, which has since been retracted.

Gateway Pundit identifies wrong Reddit user

Limbaugh’s comments were posted on his website, which linked to a story on the conspiracy-minded site Gateway Pundit.

The original headline on the Gateway Pundit article read, "Jacksonville Shooter Was Member of Anti-Trump ‘Resistance’ – Referred to Trump Supporters at ‘Trumptards’ – Murdered 4 People."

Gateway Pundit identified the shooter as operating with the Reddit handle "Ravenchamps," which posted comments critical of Trump and his supporters.

However, the actual shooter’s video game handle was "Ravens2012champs," according to NBC News. TMZ reported he also used the name "RavensChamp" — one letter off from the user identified by Gateway Pundit.

Gateway Pundit has since removed references to the wrongly identified Reddit user, and issued an update that says, "An anonymous Reddit user was mis-identified in an earlier post."

The Gateway Pundit article now carries a different headline that strikes any reference to the shooter’s political leanings: "Jacksonville Shooter Had Strange Online Profile and Bizarre Playing Style – Murdered 3 People (UPDATE)."

We searched through articles about the perpetrator and found no evidence the shooting was politically motivated.

At the time of this writing, the post on Limbaugh’s site remains uncorrected. Attempts to reach Limbaugh were unreturned.

In an interview with NBC News, the wrongly identified Reddit user, who NBC referred to only as a Minnesota native named "Pavel" to protect his privacy, described his reaction to learning about the case of mistaken identity:

"I went on Reddit. I noticed I had 60, 70 unread messages. Usually I have two or something," he told NBC News. "I look at the messages and it's a bunch of people using my username claiming I'm that Madden shooter person. Half of them are messages like 'I hope that person's dead.'

Responding to a user who said "ravenchamps was his profile, see for yourself," Ravenchamps wrote back.

"I'm alive you know?" he wrote.

Our ruling

Limbaugh said, "It appears that the (Jacksonville) shooter was part of the Trump 'Resistance'."

Limbaugh’s comments were based on an article by the Gateway Pundit, which has since retracted its claim about the shooter’s anti-Trump political leanings.

We searched through articles about the perpetrator and found no evidence the shooting was politically motivated.

We rate this claim False.

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False
"It appears that the (Jacksonville) shooter was part of the Trump 'Resistance.' "
in a blog post
Monday, August 27, 2018

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that per NBC News, the shooter used the handle "Ravens2012champs" as a video game username, not a Reddit username.

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