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Boston Police foil potential massacre at Pokemon World Championship event

Crime WorldBy Shuki Byrne
Police found a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15 rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife
Police found a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15 rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife

Police in Boston have foiled a potential massacre at the Pokemon World Championship event, authorities have said.

Two young Iowa men suspected of making violent social media threats to people were arrested attempting to enter the event in Boston on Friday. 

Boston police said that convention security reported the alleged threats on Thursday and the suspects were stopped as they were about to enter the event hours later.

Police said they initially released the men, but later seized their car after learning they might have guns inside. They said a warranted search of their car found a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15 rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife.

Later that day, 18-year-old Kevin Norton of Ames and 27-year-old James Stumbo were arrested at their hotel in Saugus, north of Boston. They are being arraigned on firearms charges. It's not immediately known if they have attorneys.

Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis Commander Superintendent Paul Fitzgerald said: "The relationship between police and private sector security is important in both our community policing philosophy, as well as our counter-terrorism strategy.

"This incident is a good example of private security reaching out to their local Boston police district and relaying information to detectives and BRIC analysts in order to identify the very real threat. The BPD detectives and collaborating agencies did a great job in the stop and prevention of a potential tragedy."

"Prior to the event this weekend, our community of players made us aware of a security issue," the Pokemon International Company wrote in a statement on Sunday.

"We gathered information and gave it as soon as possible to the authorities at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center who acted swiftly and spearheaded communication with the Boston Police Department. Due to quick action, the potential threat was resolved.

"The Pokemon Company International takes the safety of our fans seriously and will continue to ensure proper security measures are a priority."