SALISBURY, N.C. >> The man accused of firing an assault rifle inside a restaurant appears to have lived an aimless life that became turbulent in the weeks before he was drawn to Washington by an online hoax.
Friends and family call Edgar Maddison Welch a well-meaning father of two girls. But he also unnerved some with his religious fervor and sometimes had trouble detaching himself from the internet.
Police say he came to the pizza restaurant Sunday on a self-imposed mission to investigate a false account of a child sex ring that had spread through fake internet news stories. He’s due in court Thursday.
In October, Edgar Maddison Welch struck a teenage pedestrian with his car, a police report said. More recently, he was dropped from the rolls of a volunteer fire department.