Actor Wil Wheaton confused and angered a number of his fans Monday when he blamed a courthouse shooting on the National Rifle Association.
Three people died and one person was injured in St. Joseph, Michigan, Monday when a criminal at Berrien County Courthouse stole a deputy’s handgun and began firing.
Mr. Wheaton, perhaps best known for his work on the movie “Stand by Me” and the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” television series, posted a profanity-laced tweet as news broke.
“Welcome to America. It has been 0 days since our last mass shooting. #F**ktheNRA,” the actor wrote.
Witnesses said an inmate who was on his way to jail managed to steal the officer’s weapon, a local ABC affiliate reported. The shooter was killed on the scene.
Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey told reporters that “brave officers” returned fire against the inmate.
“MSP has secured the scene at the Berrien County courthouse and started its investigation into the shooting that occurred this afternoon,” Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder tweeted at 4:30 p.m. EST. “Please join me in praying for those affected. We will share more information here from MSP as it becomes available.”
Many of Mr. Wheaton’s 3 million Twitter followers mocked his hasty response to the shooting.
“Why wait for the facts when you can just lash out?” asked one.
”Welcome to the world of the jackwagon who blames everything on law-abiding citizens,” another follower added.
“What does the NRA have to do with a criminal grabbing an officers gun? Won’t officers still have guns in your dystopian America?” said another.
Mr. Wheaton did not tweet a clarification to his main news feed once it became known that a deputy’s weapon was stolen prior to the shooting.
Update: The actor responded to fans within his original post, “Shooter grabbed a deputy’s gun. So this is a rare circumstance where a mass shooting wasn’t enabled by the NRA.”