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A narrative from far-right sites and social media accounts is shaping deceased Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock as a member of antifa, the leftist collective pushing back against facism and racism. BuzzFeed’s Ryan Broderick posted screenshots from pro-Trump sites like The_Donald and an apparently fake screenshot from the Melbourne Antifa Facebook page, which claimed involvement in the shooting.
New far-right narrative forming: Stephen Paddock is "Antifa" pic.twitter.com/vHe77FD1im— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) October 2, 2017
Posts from a fake "Melbourne Antifa" page are going viral on Facebook. Post went up claiming one of their "comrades" was behind LV shooting. pic.twitter.com/0dw2EJG695— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) October 2, 2017
Twitter has been running with this conspiracy theory.
A Washington Post profile says Paddock was retired, lived a “quiet life” in Nevada, and enjoyed gambling, but did not cite his personal politics. Police thus far maintain that Paddock was a “lone wolf” shooter.
Update 3:30pm CT, Sept. 2: InfoWars, Alex Jones’ hub of counter-culture and fringe blog posts that wields an enormous audience but lacks journalistic credibility, is likewise reporting that Paddock was an antifa apologist with ties to ISIS, who didn’t die of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but was rather murdered by police.
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.