WASHINGTON – Family members observed an alteration in the man charged with firing an assault rifle in a Washington pizza parlor after he hit a 13-year-old pedestrian along with his car in October, his parents said.
Edgar Maddison Welch altered from energetic and amazing to melancholy and calm, Terri Welch and Harry Welch Jr. told The Washington Post at their son’s public defender’s office Monday.
“He was very traumatized. We feel that accident changed him, ” Harry Welch said, and his wife said they have wondered whether it may have been a catalyst for the episode at Comet Ping Pong.
Police and prosecutors say that on Dec. 4, Maddison Welch entered the restaurant and fired an AR-15 rifle many times inside. No one was damage.
He told police “he had read online that the Comet restaurant was harboring child sex slaves, ” and he planned to investigate, according to court docket papers.
The couple from New york was in town to attend a Tuesday court hearing for their son, whom they have not spoken with since the shooting. The 28-year-old Welch, of Salisbury, North Carolina, has recently been in jail considering that the firing. He faces charges including assault with an unhealthy tool.
Harry Welch said his son felt guilty after the crash and concerned about the long-term effects for the child, who got to be airlifted to a hospital with cracked bones and a mind injury. His parents said Maddison Welch started out having nightmares but did not to seek help.
Bills were filed in the crash.
Maddison Welch’s parents said their son is loving and responsible, an affectionate father to two young ladies. “He’s a daddy first, ” Terri Welch said. He is sincerely religious, with two Scriptures verses, Isaiah 40: 30-31, tattooed across his back again, they said.
After an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010, killing hundreds of thousands, Maddison Welch visited to the impoverished island and spent weeks there building houses with a church.