Edgar Maddison Welch, the North Carolina man who paralyzed part of the District this past December by entering neighborhood restaurant Comet Ping Pong with a semi-automatic rifle to investigate a bogus alt-right conspiracy theory, has apologized for “endangering the safety of any and all bystanders who were present that day.”
“Unfortunately, I cannot change what I did, but I think I owe it to the families and the community to apologize for my mistakes,” Welch wrote to court authorities ahead of his June 22 sentencing hearing. This latest petition, first reported by the Washington Post, follows the guilty plea to federal firearms charges Welch entered in March. Defense attorneys have asked for an 18-month jail sentence for the father of two, while prosecutors are pressing for a 4-and-a-half-year prison term.
“A significant sentence is required to deter other people from pursuing vigilante justice based only on their YouTube feed,” prosecutors wrote. “The fact that no one was shot was entirely the product of good luck …”
According to the Post, Welch has agreed to forfeit the rifle, revolver, a shotgun and ammunition he carried with him that day and to pay restitution of $5,744.33 to Comet Ping Pong owner James Alefantis for damaged computer systems, a door, lock and ping-pong table.