Police arrested two men carrying weapons to the Pokémon World Championships, after they made an apparent threat to the event online, according to the Boston Police Department.
Eighteen-year-old Kevin Norton and 27-year-old James Stumbo, both from Iowa, were stopped from entering the event in Boston, and police seized a shotgun, an assault rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition and a hunting knife from their vehicle. Neither of the pair were able to produce a gun licence.
Stumbo had posted a photo on the Mayhem Pokémon Crew's Facebook group on Wednesday, showing two guns on the boot of a car. When another user wished him luck, he replied: "With killing the competition?"
Weirdly, both of the suspects were registered to take part in the competition, which has taken place every August since 2004. It's not easy to get a place, with players chosen on Pokémon ratings and selected from smaller national championships. Stumbo actually won the Nebraska state championships this year, so it's unclear why he'd want to threaten the World Championships, as the Boston PD has alleged.
Motherboard's Jason Koebler was at the championships and reported that event organisers didn't inform the public of the threats, despite police being made aware on Friday, the first day of the championships. Even so, he did notice tightened security at the event.
The Pokémon Company International said in a statement: "We gathered information and gave it as soon as possible to the authorities at the John B Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Centre, who acted swiftly and spearheaded communication with the Boston Police Department. Due to quick action, the potential threat was resolved. The Pokémon Company International takes the safety of our fans seriously and will continue to ensure proper security measures are a priority."