A possible tragedy was averted last Friday in Boston, when two men were found with guns at the Pokémon World Championships. 

The suspects, Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, came from Iowa. They were stopped at Boston’s Hynes Convention Center, where the event took place this weekend. They had made threats via social media. Private security officials alerted the police the day before. The police found several powerful weapons in the men’s vehicle. They included a semiautomatic DPMS Model AR-15 rifle and a 12-gauge Remington shotgun, as well as a hunting knife and several hundred rounds of ammunition.

Norton and Stumbo were arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition, and “other firearm related charges,” according to Boston police. They did not have licenses to carry firearms.

It’s not known yet why the men decided to target the Pokémon World Championships.

BPD Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis Commander Superintendent Paul Fitzgerald had this to say about the incident:

“The relationship between police and private sector security is important in both our community policing philosophy, as well as our counter-terrorism strategy. This incident is a good example of private security reaching out to their local Boston police district and relaying information to detectives and BRIC analysts in order to identify the very real threat. The BPD detectives and collaborating agencies did a great job in the stop and prevention of a potential tragedy.”

The Pokémon World Championships were held from August 21 to 23 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the 12th invitation-only championship for players of the Pokémon Trading Card Game. It was the seventh championship for players of the Pokémon video game series. Contenders played Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire in the video game competition. Both tournaments feature three different age divisions. The prize was awarded to the top 16 finishers in all divisions, and is more than $500,000—four times the prize awarded last year. The top finishers receive $25,000 each, up from $10,000 from last year.

This article was written by

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.