Eight people were left injured after an unidentified gunman opened fire in Mayfair Mall, located in a Milwaukee suburb. Even as the manhunt for the shooter is on by the law enforcement authorities, several social media users once again fell victim to the hoax of Sam Hyde being the shooter.
In the shooting, which began around 3 pm local time, the shooter fired shots near the northwest entrance to Macy's. The injured, including a teenager, were rushed to the hospital.
Who is Sam Hyde ?
Addressing the press, Police Chief Barry Weber said that the shooter has been identified as a white male in 20's or 30's. Washington Post reported citing police authorities that initial investigations suggested the attack 'was not a random act' but stemmed from an 'altercation.' The police cleared the entire mall at around 9.30 pm local time.
Soon after the shooting, some social media users claimed that the shooter was identified as Sam Hyde, a member of of the alt-right terrorist group known as '90 Percent Civilian'.
It is not for the first time that Hyde's name has cropped up in shooting incidents. However, Hyde is an American comedian, who is part of a comedy group called Million Dollar Extreme (MDE). According to RT Hyde's name as a shooter cropped up first in an article published on Daily Stormer, headlined 'Sam Hyde and Million Dollar Extreme Troll The Oregon Shooting'.
The article refers to Hyde "and his large base of followers on Twitter" and their attempts to "grab the attention of the Main Stream [sic] Media for the purpose of a good laugh" and references Hyde being dubbed a shooter.. The name also appeared on the message board 4Chan.
The Hyde meme, calling him the 'lone white shooter', was largely in circulation during theshootings in San Bernardino, Kalamazoo, Baton Rouge, and Orlando, and Texas church.
Policeman Mistaken for Shooter
In a case of mistaken identity, a cop undertaking combing operation inside the mall was mistaken as the shooter on social media. The confusion started after Rita Katz, a prominent figure in online terrorism network analysis, shared an image on twitter claiming the man to be the shooter.
"Shooter is reportedly a white male believed to be in his 20s or 30s, according to Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber. An image of the shooter shows him wearing what appeared to be a face mask and holding what appears to be an assault rifle," tweeted Katz.
However, she was quickly corrected by another user stating that the picture was taken by a man named Joshua Gresl who was inside the mall during the combing operation. Your information above is wrong. This is a photo I tweeted out, curtsey of Joshua Gresl, who was inside after the shooting. It's a photo of law enforcement checking the building. That's a first responder in uniform," tweeted Caroline Reinwald, a reporter.
The police news release stated that investigators were working on determining the identity of the suspect and any information reporting the shooter's identity at this time is false.