BOSTON- Two Iowans are behind bars in Boston after bringing guns into the state and threatening to “kill the competition” at the Pokemon World Championship.
18-year-old Kevin Norton, from Ames, and 27-year-old James Stumbo, from Boone, were arrested for unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition and other related charges.
This comes after a Facebook post on August 19th from Stumbo saying, “Kevin Norton and I are ready for Boston. Here we come!” to which Norton replied that they didn't need luck, “killing the competition.”
That post sparked Boston Police to search their vehicle prior to entering the championship event. Inside they found a 12 gauge shotgun, AR-15 assault rifle along with rounds of ammunition and a hunting knife.
Local 5 News broke the news to Kevin Norton’s father who said he was “in shock and disbelief that his son would do something like this.” Norton’s father said he knew Kevin had bought a shotgun about one month ago and was heading to Boston with Stumbo, but he didn't know it was for this purpose. He said he and his family are just in shock.
Central Iowa game card players are also in shock. Lars Backstrom is in the same Pokemon playing group as both of the men, but said he doesn’t know them very well.
"After googling and seeing the image of the weapons, it’s terrifying to know people are out there to wreak havoc on children. It’s awful,” said Backstrom. "I just can’t believe someone would go to that extent to disrupt the game that’s leaning toward a younger audience, like there are 8-12 year olds most of the time playing it.”
Backstrom said the world championship is mainly comprised of children under the age of 16 and their parents. He said it’s terrifying to know someone is out there and willing to bring weapons into that type of atmosphere.
"Most people are just in shock, you know, who tries to do this? We all love these games, they’re hobbies and we do it to have fun,” said Backstrom.
Extra security was on hand through the duration of the championship event.
Both Stumbo and Norton are expected to be arraigned Monday morning.
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