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How a Los Angeles Times Reporter Misled the Internet in Aftermath of California Shooting

Media

"...trying to determine the original source of the apparent hoax."

A Los Angeles Times reporter incorrectly reported Wednesday night that a suspect in the deadly San Bernardino shooting was a citizen from Qatar.

Image source: Twitter

Times FBI/justice reporter Rick Serrano seemingly copy and pasted the erroneous report word-for-word from a random Twitter account that had posted the incorrect information five hours earlier.

Within minutes, the tweet had amassed hundreds of retweets.

But it did not stop there. Several websites quickly aggregated the information in Serrano's tweet, most prominently the Washington Times and Mediaite.

The false report even found its way to Fox News, splashed on the bottom of the screen in a chyron.

Serrano later deleted his tweet and acknowledged that it appeared to be a hoax. He, however, did not apologize or say where he got the information.

Times spokeswoman Hillary Manning told TheBlaze that the publication did not have comment, but said Serrano's tweet had been shared with "relevant editors."

Manning added that she was "trying to determine the original source of the apparent hoax."

A spokesperson for Fox News did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday night.

Authorities identified the actual suspects as Syed Farook, 28, an American citizen, and Tashfeen Malik, 27. 14 were killed and 17 were wounded in Wednesday's shooting.

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