A self-described “patriot” accidentally shot himself in the leg at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, where he and dozens of others had assembled to protest reports of a group allegedly planning to desecrate Confederate graves and burn flags.
Turns out, the whole anti-Confederate rally was a hoax.
Benjamin Hornberger, 23, shot himself in the leg Saturday when he accidentally triggered his revolver as he briefly rested the bottom of his flagpole against the holster it was in, Penn Live reported. Park police applied a tourniquet until he could be transported by paramedics.
The rally he and dozens of others were at was in response to reports that anti-fascist group Antifa was going to show up to damage graves and burn Confederate flags on the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
But those reports turned out to be false.
“We have zero intentions of desecrating graves or a historical battlefield,” Central PA Antifa wrote on its Facebook page. “And y'all still show up and shoot yourselves??? I guess you had to shoot somebody eh?”
The Central PA Antifa blamed the fake event on two Facebook accounts for Amy Thomas and Sean M Guay.
People showed up with semi-automatic rifles, body armor, and Confederate flags to defend the graves they believed Antifa was going to damage.
A video posted to YouTube of the event showed people speaking through a loudspeaker to the group.
“Our movement today is going to send a message to Antifa that we’re not playing around,” one man said. “And if you’re going to come to our national parks and cause problems we’re going to be here to meet you.”
The Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Real 3% Risen obtained special-use permits to assemble up to 500 people, Fox News reported. Neither group immediately responded to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.
Adolfo Flores is a national security correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. He focuses on immigration.
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