QAnon Claims Boulder Shooting a 'False Flag' Staged by Actors

Almost immediately after the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, was reported, some of the most popular and influential QAnon figures began pushing false claims that the attack was a "false flag" and no one had actually died.

Ten people, including a police officer, were killed when a gunman opened fire inside a King Soopers at around 2:30 p.m. on Monday.

Boulder Police officer Eric Talley is the only victim who has been formally identified. His actions were described as "heroic" by Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold, who confirmed Talley was the first responder on the scene.

The suspect taken into custody in connection to the attack has not been named, and police have not established a motive for the shooting.

Rather than express empathy for the victims of the attack, supporters of QAnon, who have no issue believing there exists a cabal of cannibalistic pedophiles, instead declared that the media reports and statements from the police were all false and that there is no way yet another mass shooting could have occurred in the U.S.

"No question Boulder, Co incident today was a false flag. The only question is by which side?," one QAnon profile, who has more than 260,000 subscribers on Telegram, wrote. "False flag means it's fake. Nobody actually died.

"Was this false flag to try and take your guns or scare the s**t out of you?"

A popular QAnon Telegram channel with more than 200,000 subscribers wrote: "This false flag was executed about as cleanly as Biden on a staircase."

An account with more than 58,000 Telegram followers added: "This Boulder situation reeks of false flag. Anons will pick this apart in a matter of hours if it is."

Another Telegram user wrote: "Nobody died. I was there for an actual shooting. This was 100% fake fake.

On the "free speech" social network Gab, one influential QAnon advocate supporters with more than 79,000 followers also claimed the mass shooting was a "false flag" to help push gun control legislation, as well as suggesting it is a distraction technique to take people's attention away reports of immigrant children in U.S. custody at the border under Joe Biden's administration.

Other QAnon followers attempted to claim bystanders at the scene of the Boulder were "actors" because they apparently weren't reacting in the right way to a mass shooting.

The suggestion that any mass shooting is staged in order to set support for stricter gun control legislation is a trope often pushed by conspiracy theorists in the wake of such tragedies.

One post on the Reddit channel r/conspiracy made this claim and speculated why there are more reports of mass shootings in the country.

"It's almost as if there's active gun control legislation sitting in congress that an 'event' or several 'events' would help create a perceived need to get it passed in the senate," the post, which has hundreds of replies, said.

Days before the shooting in Boulder, a judge ruled that the city could no longer enforce its ban on assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines, which was established in 2018 following a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

For QAnon, manipulating world events to suit their own twisted viewpoints is nothing new. When QAnon supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, they claimed it was actually the work of antifa.

Even when one of its followers was killed by police during the insurrection, other QAnon supporters said Ashli Babbitt was still alive.

Just a few days ago, QAnon also attempted to suggest the mass shooting at three massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia, which left eight people killed, six of whom were Asian women, was also a false flag.

"Every tragedy is a reason for far-right/conspiracy adherents to swarm like vultures, calling the Atlanta shootings a false flag to stoke anti-white sentiments, or going with the hallmark QAnon narrative of human trafficking based on stereotypes of massage parlors as brothels," Rita Katz, director of Site Intelligence Group, tweeted.

qanon
Police respond at a King Soopers grocery store where a gunman opened fire on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. QAnon followers are already spreading wild conspiracies claiming the attack which left 10 people dead was staged. Chet Strange/Getty Images