Two men were arrested at the Pokémon World Championships in Boston, MA, over the weekend, after a private security firm was alerted the pair might be planning an act of violence against other attendees.
Eighteen-year-old Kevin Norton and 27-year-old James Stumbo, both from Iowa, were due to compete in the event finals, and had reportedly made a number of violent threats on social media, including referencing the Columbine school shooting and the Boston marathon bombing.
The Boston Police Department was notified of the threats on Thursday, after being contacted by event security, and was able to intercept the two suspects as they arrived from Iowa and attempted to enter John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center several hours later, according to a press release.
While the men were halted from entering, they were not arrested at that time.
Police then obtained a search warrant for their vehicle, and found a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife, reports MyFoxBoston.
On Friday, arrest warrants were issued for both men, who were taken in to custody at their hotel in nearby Saugus, MA.
Norton and Stumbo allegedly drove from Iowa with the weapons, which they were not licensed to carry.
The Pokémon Company told the Fox affiliate it was made aware of the threat after being notified of the posts on social media.
“Prior to the event this weekend, our community of players made us aware of a security issue. 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. “
The company added: “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.”
BPD Superintendent Paul Fitzgerald, described the threat as “very real” and praised collaborating agencies, including private security, for preventing a “potential tragedy.”
The men have been charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, and other firearm related charges.
Both had allegedly issued direct threats to a number of specific individuals at the world championships, which wrapped Sunday, August 23, and was an invitation only event.