Theory claims Russian ambassador assassination was fake


World leaders from Vladimir Putin to President Obama have condemned the killing of Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, with some calling it an act of terrorism — but at least one conspiracy theory has emerged suggesting the entire event was staged and never happened.

On Monday, Karlov was shot and killed at an art galley. The shooter was apparently a 22-year-old off-duty police officer later identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas.

Video of the scene showed the shooter yelling, "Don't forget Aleppo, don't forget Syria!" Soon after the attack, a Turkey news agency reported that Altintas was "neutralized," or killed.

Some, however, have doubts that the assassination even happened. Reddit user Rigged_Election wrote a post on the site entitled, "The Russian ambassador assassination is fake, and I have evidence to prove it."

He and a reported "team of experts" analyzed a video of the shooting:

"Ballistics expert has told me these rounds sound like BLANKS," he said. He claims there are also no sounds of shell casings hitting the floor.

See photos from the attack

The "flash of light" coming from the ambassador, Rigged_Election argues, is not an exit wound:

Credit: Reddit

"I would like to get a forensic analysis on the audio of these shots to see if they are actually special effects or not," Rigged_Election said. "There is also no sound of the bullets hitting him."

According to Rigged_Election, the "most important" factor of the incident is the lack of blood:

Credit: Reddit

Rigged_Election claims that the "stunt" was an attempt to keep the Middle East unstable and for more tension to lay on Russia, Turkey, NATO, and Syria.

Witnesses, however, have spoken publicly about the alarming scene. Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici was not only in attendance, but shot photographs the entire time.

"I was, of course, fearful and knew of the danger if the gunman turned toward me," he said in a blog posted by AP. He commented on watching a life -- Karlov's -- "disappear" before his eyes.

Ozbilici spoke of others at the scene as well. "People screamed, hid behind columns and under tables and lay on the floor," he said. Other anonymous witnesses confirmed the shooting, and said that Altintas claimed to be Karlov's bodyguard prior.

These accounts reject Rigged_Election's theory, which has not been supported by any credible organizations as of Tuesday afternoon.