Reacting to a CNN reporter’s claim that there had been a SWAT exercise in the vicinity of Marysville-Pilchuck high school the day before Friday’s shooting, Adan Salazar writing for Alex Jones’ InfoWars blamed the mainstream media for initiating a conspiracy theory that the incident may have been planned in advance.
Writing, “CNN broadcast a strange announcement during yesterday’s coverage of the school shooting in Washington state,” Salazar provided a transcript of CNN reporter Brooke Baldwin on-air reportage.
“I’m getting handed information, so bear with me as I just read this cold. ‘Local law enforcement under the direction of the Marysville Police Department will be holding… SWAT training…? This was actually yesterday [October 23], ” Baldwin said. “This was yesterday. They held SWAT training. It happened that they held SWAT training yesterday in the, uh, in the area around the school district.”
Baldwin’s comments sent conspiracy theorists — many of whom believe the shooting at Sandy Hook never happened or was a ‘false flag‘ operation intended to set the stage for gun confiscations — to the Internet to verify Baldwin’s claim.
Using Google, they discovered an online announcement reading, “October 23, 2014: Local law enforcement under the direction of the Marysville Police Department will be holding a SWAT training in the large fenced parking…”
According to InfoWars, that announcement can no longer be found and there is no mention of the SWAT exercise on the city of Marysville website.
Upon further investigation, the full announcement was discovered stating that the exercise was actually held 3 miles away from the school.
While blaming CNN for weaving “a conspiracy theory through its own incautious misreporting.,” Salazar noted that “a SWAT training exercise was conducted one day prior involving the exact same police department is still a pretty fascinating ‘coincidence,’ especially given the fact that training drills are notoriously used as cover for real world events.
Salazar went on to note that a University of Mobile Cross Country coach claimed to have heard announcements saying, “Do not worry, this is just a training exercise,” prior to the Boston Marathon bombings.
He also indicated that others pointed to a drill that took place on October 23 at the Ferndale High School, 70 miles northwest of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School as additional evidence that the school shooting may have been staged.
Salazar concluded by writing, “Theories are swirling as to why authorities may have wanted to stage a shooting, but generally center around the idea that the event was intended to galvanize voters into supporting gun control measures ahead of November elections,” before asking readers who or what they thought was behind the shooting.