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Here Are All The Hoaxes Being Spread About The Las Vegas Shooting

This post will be updated as more hoaxes surface.

Originally posted on
Updated on

At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured in a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip late Sunday night. Police have confirmed that "one suspect is down" and they do not believe there are any more shooters. Authorities are looking to talk to a "female companion" as a possible person of interest. Within minutes of reports of the shooting hitting Twitter, trolls started flooding social media with fake information.

4. This account is circulating a photo of Mesut Özil, a German soccer player who plays for Arsenal.

8. This account has been retweeting fake missing person tweets and tweeted, "If you're actually using twitter to search for your missing relative in a mass shooting it's safe to say they're dead" after posting their own fake tweet.

11. 4chan users are claiming this Instagram account — which has only one photo on it — belongs to the alleged shooter, Stephen Paddock.

Instagram: @stephenpaddock5431, Facebook: profile.php

The photo and avatar from the account come from the Facebook profile of a man from New Brunswick, Canada, with the same name.

12. Far-right trolls are spreading a conspiracy theory that the shooter is actually a man named Geary Danley.

Geary Danley was Facebook friends with an account that appeared to belong to Marilou Danley, who police have named as a "person of interest" in relation to the shooting. They are appealing for anyone who has seen her to contact police. Danley is a local woman and is believed to have been roommates with the shooter.

Far-right trolls have jumped on Geary as a possible suspect because his Facebook has left-leaning Facebook likes. Before the Marilou account went down, there was a post saying that Geary and Marilou had gotten married in 2011.

13. Popular far-right news site the Gateway Pundit wrote up the Geary Danley shooter conspiracy, describing him as being associated with an "anti-Trump army."

web.archive.org

The post has since been deleted.

A Gateway Pundit story was listed on Facebook's Crisis Response page at one point on Monday. A Facebook spokesperson said it was only up for a few minutes, however.

“Our Global Security Operations Center spotted the post this morning and removed it," a spokesperson said in a statement. "However, its removal was delayed by a few minutes, allowing it be screen captured and circulated online. We are working to fix the issue that allowed this to happen in the first place and deeply regret the confusion this caused."

14. One of the 4chan threads about Danley made its way into Google's Top Stories widget.

Google

“Unfortunately, early this morning we were briefly surfacing an inaccurate 4chan website in our Search results for a small number of queries. Within hours, the 4chan story was algorithmically replaced by relevant results. This should not have appeared for any queries, and we’re continue to make algorithmic improvements to prevent this from happening in the future," a spokesperson for Google said in a statement.

15. Conservative media personality Wayne Root tweeted that the shooting was a "coordinated Muslim terror attack" with shots fired at multiple hotels.

Twitter: @wayneroot

The shooter was located on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. Police identified the shooter as Stephen Paddock, a local man. They have confirmed that he is dead and they do not believe there are any more shooters.

16. Several far-right communities are pushing a conspiracy theory that Stephen Paddock, the man identified by police as the alleged shooter, is affiliated with anti-fascist communities.

17. Posts from a fake "Melbourne Antifa" page are going viral within far-right communities on Facebook. The Melbourne Antifa page wrote that one of their "comrades" was behind Sunday night's shooting.

18. Marilou Danley — who was briefly a person of interest for law enforcement — did not warn the concert audience that they were going to die. According to police, she wasn't even in the country at the time.

"We located her out of the country. She was not with him when he checked in," Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said. "He was utilizing some of her identification and we had conversation with her and we believed her not to be involved."

19. A YouTuber named Steven Haffley started a rumor that Stephen Paddock was seen at an anti-Trump rally in Reno, Nevada, in August 2017. There is no proof that Paddock was ever politically active.

youtube.com, Twitter: @MicroPrimeTime

According to Paddock's brother Eric, Paddock never publicly expressed any political beliefs, left or right.

20. A woman was not removed by security before the concert for warning people they were all going to die.

Twitter: @LauraLoomer, mirror.co.uk

Damon Zumwalt, chairman and CEO of Contemporary Services Corporation, the security firm working the concert Sunday night, told BuzzFeed News that this is a false report.

Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com.

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