Milo Yiannopoulos Responds to Annapolis Capital Gazette Shooting: Vigilantes Shooting Journalists Comment Was a Joke

Conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos denied that his recent language was at all to blame for the shooting that took place at the Capital Gazette offices in Annapolis, Maryland, Thursday because he was just joking.

According to the Observer, Yiannopoulos responded to a request for a comment with the claim that he can’t “wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.”

Two days after the Observer published the article, a gunman entered the offices of the Capital Gazette and began to open fire.

In anticipation of the blame that would be placed on his shoulders, Yiannopoulos posted on Facebook that not only is he not responsible, but if his rhetoric incited anything, it’s the news outlets who reported his comments that are to blame.

He said the “vigilante death squads” comment was a private response that was a way of saying, “f**k off” to a “few hostile journalists."

“Amazed they were pretending to take my joke as a ‘threat,’ I reposted these stories on Instagram to mock them — and to make it clear that I wasn’t being serious,” he wrote.

GettyImages-881367442 Milo Yiannopoulos speaks during a press conference. He's faced backlash recently for sending a text message to a news outlet expressing his hope that journalists would be shot. Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Yiannopoulos criticized headlines for making it seem as if he was “’inciting’ people to murder journalists” and the only people who were wrong in the situation were those “drumming up fake hysteria.”

“If there turns out to be any dimension to this crime related to my private, misreported remarks, the responsibility for that lies squarely and wholly with the Beast and the Observer for drumming up fake hysteria about a private joke, and with the verified liberals who pretended they thought I was serious,” he wrote in the Facebook post.

He concluded that if the “left” was actually bothered by violence against journalists “they would have shown it in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo.”

Officials confirmed during a press conference that five people were killed during the shooting at the Capital Gazette offices and others were injured. Officers engaged the suspect, who was taken into custody. 

Newsweek reached out to Yiannopoulos for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.