The Michigan father shot his family, police say. His daughter blames QAnon.

A Michigan man who allegedly believed in the QAnon conspiracy theory was killed in a police shootout on Sunday after fatally shooting his wife and critically injuring their daughter in their suburban Detroit home.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as Igor Lanis, 53, of Walled Lake, a small community 30 miles northwest of Detroit. Lanis had no history of violence or protective orders against him, officials said, but according to his youngest daughter, who was not home during the attack, Lanis had become increasingly moreover under the influence of the movement of conspiracy sprawling and without known basis. like QAnon.

Rebecca Lanis, 21, told the Detroit News on Sunday that after Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, her father began consuming “crazy ideas” online, including conspiracy theories about vaccines and Trump.

“No one could talk him out of them,” she told the outlet.

An epidemic of conspiracy theories, stoked by social media and self-serving politicians, is tearing families apart.

Police received a 911 call just after 4 a.m. on Sunday from a young woman who said she had just been shot by her father, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said in a communicated. statement. When officers arrived at the scene and headed for the house after hearing a gunshot, Lanis came out the front door armed with a shotgun and began shooting at the officers.

The police returned fire, killing Lanis.

Officers then saw Lanis’ 25-year-old daughter, Rachel, attempt to crawl out the front door before dragging her to safety. She was later hospitalized and listed in stable condition. Rachel Lanis, who made the initial 911 call, told police her father shot her and killed her mother.

Tina Lanis, 56, was found dead inside the home with multiple gunshot wounds to her back following an apparent attempt to flee through the front door, according to the sheriff’s office. The family dog ​​was also found dead with multiple gunshot wounds.

Rebecca Lanis, who was staying with a friend for a birthday and was not home during filming, did not immediately respond to a request for an interview on Monday. But in a Reddit forum for people who have lost touch with loved ones because of QAnon, she firmly blamed the conspiracy theory movement for her family’s tragedy.

“I want the media to call Q because it’s all their fault,” she wrote. She lamented how her father’s fall down QAnon’s “rabbit hole” turned him from a loving, fun, carefree man into someone who would “get really pissed off over the smallest things” and warn imagined dangers posed by modern medicine or 5G towers.

“It’s like he was possessed by a demon,” she wrote.

The sheriff’s office said there was an active investigation into the incident and did not give a reason.

QAnon gained momentum as a viral online movement towards the end of 2017. Its followers awaited posts from an anonymous figure known as “Q” who claimed to be a high-level government insider with knowledge of secrets of the “deep state”.

The movement has shifted focus and evolved over the years, but has been linked to a growing number of criminal incidents, including the January 6, 2021 siege at the United States Capitol, where several QAnon adherents were arrested.

QAnon reshaped Trump’s party and radicalized believers. The Capitol siege may be just the beginning.

In a 2019 intelligence bulletin, the FBI listed QAnon among “anti-government, identity-based, fringe political conspiracy theories” that “most likely motivate some domestic extremists to engage in criminal, sometimes violent, activity.”

Last year, a California man who became obsessed with QAnon confessed to killing his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter with an underwater shotgun after being “lit up” by the group. Matthew Taylor Coleman told FBI investigators he received signs that this woman “possessed snake DNA” and passed it on to their children.

Jack Bratich, an associate professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information who researches QAnon, said the group can be particularly appealing to people who have been unsettled by trauma. mass – like the coronavirus pandemic – or who more generally cling to QAnon as a way to cope with a changing world where they feel less comfortable.

“QAnon gave some people a sense of purpose and a narrative that almost secured a certain type of future,” Bratich said. To preserve this, adherents may act and behave in an almost paranoid manner.

“They can act like they’re protecting a bunker and treat other people – even family – as an enemy,” he said.

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