The 12th Pokémon World Championships took place in Boston over the weekend, and it appears the nation's latest horrific mass shooting may have been averted. On Friday, Aug. 21, the event's kickoff day, police followed up on a threatening social media post and discovered a car parked near the Hynes Convention Center containing "one 12-gauge Remington shotgun, one DPMS Model AR-15 rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife," per the Boston Police Department.
Two men, 18-year-old Kevin Norton and 27-year-old James Stumbo, were arrested in a Saugus, Mass. hotel shortly after. Neither possessed a gun permit. They have been charged with "unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and other firearm related charges." The men drove to Boston from Iowa after Stumbo made an Aug. 19 Facebook post showing the weapons on the hood of a car, writing, "Kevin Norton and I are ready for worlds Boston here we come!!!" In the comments section, Stumbo referenced "killing the competition." Norton and Stumbo were invited to play in the competition; Stumbo is Nebraska's 2015 Pokémon state champion.
The Pokémon Company International issued a statement reading:
“Prior to the event this weekend, our community of players made us aware of a security issue. We gathered information and gave it as soon as possible to the authorities at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center who acted swiftly and spearheaded communication with the Boston Police Department. Due to quick action, the potential threat was resolved. The Pokémon Company International takes the safety of our fans seriously and will continue to ensure proper security measures are a priority.”
A post on Vice's Motherboard says about 3,000 people were in attendance, going on to claim that "the public was not informed about the arrests until Sunday afternoon, after the arrests were made." The Daily Beast reports that the event "hosted hundreds of players from 30 different countries and thousands more spectators. Winners are given thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes, and $2 million worth of scholarships are donated."