In and beyond the nation’s capital, it also raised fears about hoax stories proliferating the Internet and whether they are stoking new dangers from society’s fringe.
Even the White House weighed in on Welch’s alleged crimes.
“Even without knowing precisely what the motives were, there’s no denying the corrosive effect that some of these false reports have had on our political debate,” said Josh Earnest, press secretary for President Obama. “That’s concerning in a political context. It’s deeply troubling that some of those false reports could lead to violence.”