A father of one of the 20 children killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School spoke out this week about the spread of fake news and the threats he’s received from those who believe the massacre was a hoax.
“It’s online hate, and it’s kind of like — I describe it as a thought virus — because this hoax concept just continues to spread,” Len Pozner, whose 6-year-old son Noah was killed in the 2012 shooting, told CNN. “So, with every, you know, mass casualty event or with every public incident, it’s immediately labeled a hoax by this certain circle of people that are on the web.”
Authorities this week arrested and charged a Florida woman with making a series of death threats against a parent whose child was slain in the shooting, saying that the woman was acting out on her beliefs that the massacre did not happen.
The parent is identified only as L.P. in court documents, but Mr. Pozner has confirmed to media outlets that the threats were left on his voicemail.
According to a copy of the indictment, 57-year-old Lucy Richards made the threats on Jan. 10, saying in part that “death is coming to you real soon and there’s nothing you can do about it.” She also wrote a message to Mr. Pozner that read “Look behind you it is death.”
Twenty-six people, including 20 first-graders were gunned down at the school in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012. Gunman Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle to launch his attack inside the school before killing himself.
“They’re pretty intense,” Mr. Pozner said of the threats left on his phone. “I still remember the chills running down my body hearing that voicemail.”
Ms. Richards was indicted on four counts of transmitting threats and faces a maximum of five years in prison for each of the four charges. She is expected to be arraigned on the charges Dec. 19.