A fake news story tricked far-right protesters into protesting an anti-fascist rally in Gettysburg, Pa., that never existed, according to BuzzFeed News.

Photo via Cantiere Centro Sociale/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Far-right protester shoots himself in the leg trying to stop hoax Antifa rally

One far-right protester shot himself in the leg during the protest protesting a fake protest.


Andrew Wyrich


Published Jul 6, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 12:47 am CDT

A fake news story tricked far-right protesters into protesting an anti-fascist rally in Gettysburg, Pennslyvania, that never existed, according to BuzzFeed News.

At the protest against the fake protest, which occurred on Saturday, one man accidentally shot himself in the leg, PennLive reported.

The Trump-supporting group gathered at Gettysburg National Military Park to protest reports that people were planning to desecrate Confederate graves. They seemed to be in an uproar over a post on Harrisburg100, a Facebook page that linked to “Harrisburg Antifa,” claiming they would be in Gettysburg. However, the page appears to be a hoax account.

The Harrisburg Antifa account has not been updated in more than a month, BuzzFeed reported, and only links to a well-known Antifa website.

However, the post sparked anger from Trump supporters—including a YouTuber called “TheDelawarePatriot”—who urged his followers to stand against the supposed Antifa protest in Gettysburg, the website reported.

Soon enough, far-right provocateur Jack Posobiec alerted people to the Gettysburg Antifa protest on his Twitter account. However, after learning it was fake, he tried to calm down nerves.

“I published a full correction to the tweet and spent days explaining it was a hoax,” Posobiec told BuzzFeed News. “Fox News didn’t do this, Philly Inquirer didn’t do this, but Jack Posobiec did. When I realized it was a hoax I immediately focused my energy on putting out my correction.”

A large Facebook page for Pennsylvania Antifa members told its followers that the July 1 protest was a hoax and urged people to attend other rallies.

The initial story on Harrisburg100 was then reported on by Gateway Pundit and upvoted thousands of times on the /r/The_Donald subreddit, eventually making its way to Breitbart.

Soon, Fox News reported on “rumors” of a possible Antifa protest in Gettysburg.

But on July 1, after Antifa groups said the protest was a hoax, dozens of far-right protesters came to Gettysburg to find no one else there. It was during this where one of the protesters shot himself in the leg.

Benjamin Hornberger, 23, accidentally fired his revolver while placing a flag against his holster. Park police applied a tourniquet to his leg before paramedics took him to a nearby hospital.   

You can read BuzzFeed’s report here.

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 6, 2017, 9:27 am CDT