Photo: RHONA WISE / Getty Images
  /  07.27.2021

A survivor of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting says that his father thinks the event was a hoax.

Speaking with Vice in a report published on Monday (July 26), the 18-year-old former student of the school remembered the way their father came to believe the shooting was a hoax after getting into QAnon conspiracy theories online.

“It started a couple months into the pandemic with the whole anti-lockdown protests,” said the anonymous student, whom Vice calls Bill. “His feelings were so strong it turned into facts for him. So if he didn’t like having to wear masks it wouldn’t matter what doctors or scientists said. Anything that contradicted his feelings was wrong. So he turned to the internet to find like-minded people which led him to QAnon.”

Bill’s father saw Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene harass a Parkland shooting survivor, and from that point on, his beliefs about the shooting being a hoax began to crystallize.

“He’ll say stuff like this straight to my face whenever he’s drinking: ‘You’re a real piece of work to be able to sit here and act like nothing ever happened if it wasn’t a hoax. Shame on you for being part of it and putting your family through it too,” Bill recalled on Reddit last week.

The Parkland shooting was one that left 17 dead, with 14 of the the fatalities being students and another three being staff members. An additional 17 people were wounded in the shooting. As has often been the case recently, plenty of people have claimed that the shooting was hoax, even with there being plenty of evidence to the contrary. Many of those people subscribe to QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory that believes Trump was facing a secret group of pedophiles out to take him down.

While his father showed support before he came to believe the shooting was a hoax, Bill now finds himself in a place he doesn’t want to be. He says his mother doesn’t stand up to his father and now he’s looking to leave his home next month. He doesn’t want to see his father again.


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