Police are investigating a confrontation in which a man pointed a gun toward protesters outside a campaign rally for a Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in Delaware.
Lauren Witzke, the Republican challenger to Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat, said she saw a video of Thursday's incident and denounced the behavior of the armed man, whom she identified as one of her supporters.
“Firearms should only ever be used to defend life and property,” she said Friday in a post on her campaign's Facebook page. “I denounce this behavior completely, and will support law enforcement as they work to resolve the situation.”
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Delaware State Police Cpl. Jason Hatchell told the News Journal that troopers monitoring the rally were about a block away when the incident occurred outside the state Republican Party's headquarters.
“In this particular case, once troopers were notified of the incident, they responded to contact the suspect, but he had fled the area,” Hatchell said. The incident remains under investigation, he said.
Protest organizer Kristina Kelly said police were slow to react.
“I have never in my lifetime been met with violence and especially with guns being pointed at me for voicing my opinion,” Kelly said.
Witzke won the Republican primary earlier this month, defeating the party’s endorsed candidate, and faces Coons in the November general election.
Witzke is one of dozens of current or former candidates who have promoted or expressed an interest in the QAnon conspiracy theory, which centers on the baseless belief that President Donald Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.
Witzke has been photographed wearing a QAnon T-shirt and has used the QAnon slogan “WWG1WGA,” which stands for “Where We Go One, We Go All,” in some of her Twitter hashtags.
Witzke told The Associated Press in January that she had stopped promoting QAnon months earlier.