This weekend the 12th Pokemon World Championship took place in Boston, and if not for the combined efforts of the Boston Police Department, the Pokemon Company International and the Pokemon community, the event could have ended in tragedy.
According to the Boston Police Department, the possible shooters were Iowa residents 18-year-old Kevin Norton and 27-year-old James Stumbo who prior to the event were making threats on social media. These threats include a picture of a white car with two crossed guns on a trunk. This photo was found on a Facebook Group called “Mayhem Pokemon Crew.” According to the The Daily Beast, the picture also had the following caption under it:
“Kevin Norton and I are ready for Worlds Boston here we come!!!”
“Good luck!” wrote a Facebook user named Joey Faux.
“With killing the competition?” asked Norton.
“Haha yes,” replied Faux.
After obtaining a search warrant on Friday, the police found a shotgun, AR-15 assault rifle, a hunting knife and 250 rounds of ammunition. The two were later arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. Later today they will be sent to Boston Municipal Court.
The Pokemon International Company revealed in a statement yesterday that thanks to efforts by the Pokemon Community, they were made aware of the two potential shooters. In the statement, they said that “Prior to the event this weekend, our community of players made us aware of a security issue.” They also said that:
We gathered information and gave it as soon as possible to the authorities at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center who acted swiftly and spearheaded communication with the Boston Police Department. Due to quick action, the potential threat was resolved. The Pokemon Company International takes the safety of our fans seriously and will continue to ensure proper security measures are a priority.”
Due to the Pokemon company knowing about the threat when Stumbo tried to enter the event the security escorted him out. According to the police report, when security was escorting Stumbo out, they also noticed Norton trying to enter the event too. Luckily, the right people spoke up and a potential shooting was prevented.