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Here Is The Misinformation Going Around About The Texas Church Shooting

A gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. No, Sam Hyde was not the shooter.

Originally posted on
Updated on

1. Following the shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, Rep. Vicente González of Texas incorrectly stated that the gunman was a man named Sam Hyde.

Rep. Vicente González just repeated the well-known 4chan hoax that the shooter's name was Sam Hyde. That name is ci… https://t.co/o9N3WwcMuS

"It was reported to me that he's actually not from this community. Apparently his name was released as Sam Hyde, that was the name I was given," González said on CNN on Sunday afternoon.

Time and time again, after numerous mass shootings in the US, it is widely circulated on social media that prankster and comedian Sam Hyde is the alleged shooter — he is not.

It is unclear how González heard that Hyde was the alleged shooter, but a barrage of social media posts, often originating from users of 4chan, often flood Twitter naming Hyde as the shooter.

So pervasive is the hoax that a history of Hyde as being named as a mass shooter was written by BuzzFeed News last year.

UGGGHH, fuckin Sam Hyde named as suspect by Texas congressman on CNN. People, be better than this.

Here are the other fake news items regarding the Texas shooting. This post will be updated.

2. This is a picture of the YouTuber known as "Reviewbrah," not a missing person after the shooting in Sutherland Springs.

Please be careful in looking at news and reports out of Sutherland Springs, Texas. Hoaxes have already popped up.

Reviewbrah, the man behind the popular YouTube channel "TheReportOfTheWeek," was also recently falsely claimed as missing after the October shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead.

So popular was another hoax that claimed Reviewbrah was missing after the attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, the YouTuber was compelled to release a video titled "I am alive."

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

3. This is not the shooter's Facebook page.

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A fake Facebook page was being spread on social media hours after the news broke, but it's not real. It was a page, not a profile, and it kept posting after the news of the shooting broke. The page has since been deleted.

4. The shooter was not named Chris Ward.

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Beware of any information coming from unverified or unsourced accounts. This account has spread other misinformation, including posts from the fake Facebook account.

The police did not release any information about the shooter that would suggest motive or affiliation to any groups. Police said on Monday: "This was not racially motivated, it wasn't over religious beliefs."

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On Monday, authorities said the shooting was the result of a "domestic situation," and that the shooter had sent "threatening texts" to his mother-in-law, who attended the church where the shooting took place.

7. The shooter is not a Muslim convert named Samir Al-Hajeed; the same hoax was going around after the Vegas shooting.

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A post in the Santa Monica Observer said the shooter is a "Muslim convert" who changed his name to "Samir Al-Hajeeda," citing a tweeter named "Mustachio." However, that same name was used for a fake suspect in the Las Vegas shooting.

Authorities have confirmed the suspect is 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley. Here's what we know about him so far.

Many Twitter users, including a fake Julian Assange account, are pushing the false conspiracy theory without any evidence.

Talal Ansari is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. His secure PGP fingerprint is 4FEE 894C 8088 7E08 E170 A515 2801 7CC6 95D3 11C2

Contact Talal Ansari at talal.ansari@buzzfeed.com.

Jane Lytvynenko is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada. PGP fingerprint: A088 89E6 2500 AD3C 8081 BAFB 23BA 21F3 81E0 101C.

Contact Jane Lytvynenko at jane.lytvynenko@buzzfeed.com.

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