Yestercon is an annual nostalgia driven convention held at the Carson Center in Carson, CA. Their annual one-day event was unfortunately cut short Sunday, as the con had to be evacuated after a bomb threat received around 2:30pm local time.
While we’ve yet to receive an official response from the convention, from all reports the evacuation was handled professionally and efficiently. It also appears that the threat was a false alarm, and no explosive devices were found on the premises.
Thursday afternoon a man carrying a shotgun, three handguns and multiple knives was arrested at Phoenix Comicon. The thirty year old man, who has not been publicly identified yet, was allegedly taking photos of police officers present. Authorities believe he had intended to harm or kill police, but was taken into custody before he was given a chance.
In response, the convention has banned all weapons from the event for the duration of the weekend, including props and toy guns. The convention will also be increasing security at the event, which they announced in an official statement on Facebook.
Conventions are, like any gathering, targets for potential hostile acts. Honestly, this reminds me of the two young men arrested in 2015 prior to the Pokemon World Championship in Boston, MA. In both of these cases, tragedy was averted because concerned members of the community alerted authorities when something just didn’t feel right. It should be noted that other cons taking place this weekend were already on high alert, due to the recent Manchester bombings. Alamo City Comic Con had already announced extensive security restrictions prior to the events in Phoenix, AZ.
We got lucky again, but only because people were vigilant.
Update: The individual arrested has been revealed to be a man named Mathew Sterling. Sterling stated to police he intended to shoot not just officers but also actor Jason David Frank. Sterling also had been intentionally avoiding weapon check stations, and was allegedly dressed in cosplay as The Punisher.
Via 12 News
This last weekend, a potential horror was narrowly averted as Police arrested James Austin Stumbo and Kevin Norton at the Pokemon World Championship in Boston, MA. The pair had driven to the event from Iowa with a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15, and 250 rounds of ammunition for the two weapons.
I’m not kidding.
The two had made specific threats about shooting other participants in a private Facebook group, which led the moderator (who thankfully took them seriously) to reach out to the event’s security and warn them.
And thank god the moderator did.
Event security contacted the Boston Police Department, and the police then arrested the pair when they arrived at the convention. When questioned, the pair claimed that comments like “Oh, ok, that’s fine then I will just shoot him on Friday thanks,” and “My AR-15 says you lose,” were taken out of context and that they were kidding… but c’mon.
You don’t haul 250 pounds of ammo and an AR-15 across the country without the intent to use it.
It’s a terrifying story, and in truth we all just got lucky this time around. It’s easy to forget that geek events take place in the real world, but they do. Mass shootings are an ongoing issue in the United States, and no matter what your stance is on gun control, it’s hard to not admit that this is the only country it happens in.
Thank god it didn’t happen this time.
Via The Daily Beast
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Nineteen people were taken to the hospital with naseua and other symptoms, and the hotel evacuated at Midwest FurFest early this morning. Just before one in the morning, there were complaint of a noxious odor on the Rosemont, IL Hyatt’s ninth floor, and upon arrival responders found high levels of chlorine gas.
Chlorine gas is, of course, highly dangerous and deadly.
By 3:30AM the hotel was cleared, and attendees were allowed back in the building. Police are saying the release was an intentional act, and are investigating it as a criminal matter. That’s right, someone literally attacked the Midwest FurFest using a method banned by the Geneva Convention.
What the hell is seriously going on?
Via Chicago Tribune