Alex Booth and the Putnam County Standoff

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Sometime Saturday afternoon, a standoff began between Army veteran Alex Booth and the Town of Carmel’s Police Department. The incident lasted several hours, ending around 11:00 PM local time after Booth was taken into custody. During that time, the incident went viral.

Booth, who served in Afghanistan, runs an Instagram account called @whiskey_warrior_556, and is a strong Second Amendment supporter. He began livestreaming during the standoff, informing his followers that he was the target of a red flag confiscation for his “high-capacity” 30-round .556 magazines. His Instagram story has been preserved here. His refusal to surrender made him a hero to other liberty-loving social media profiles, and so his martyrdom quickly spread. Some even began the journey to Putnam County, New York, to stand in solidarity with Booth. Not long after Booth began livestreaming, he warned that police were threatening to cut his internet. It is the last we have heard from Booth on social media. 

Not long after Booth went dark, another Instagrammer, @smoke_n_whiskey, began livestreaming. Soon, though, he was forced away from the scene by police. The news was also shared on Twitter by @whiskeynrebel, and the hashtag #WhiskeyWarrior556 was trending by the night’s end. However, little confirmed information came out of this, and instead, the internet was filled with rumors about whether Alex was free or in custody, whether there were 100 armed patriots or none at all, whether or not shots had been fired by anyone at multiple points, and so on. While police shut down eyewitness reporters, they did little to communicate the facts to those outside.

Some information was confirmed. There were armored vehicles on scene during the standoff. Booth was taken peacefully into custody. Both of these are supported by this video from JW Walshington, 2A Advocate. Other information was not, such as reports of arrests at the nearby cemetery whether supporters had been meeting. Most confusing is the dispute of what was the initial cause of the standoff.

Booth, who claims his guns had been taken prior to the incident, said this was a red flag raid. He alleged that it was a former Army pal of his who had reported him. Police, on the other hand, said that this was related to a domestic violence incident. He was charged with criminal trespass and aggravated harassment, among other charges, which could be consistent with the violation of a protective order. Interestingly, they recovered no weapons or magazines. It does not appear that any charges were related to the standoff itself. Obviously Booth’s account disputes this accusation.

Unfortunately, there is little resolution to this tale. A great deal of information is still unknown or unclear, but as it comes out, we will do our best to keep you covered. Was the internet duped into defending a domestic abuser? Are the police spreading misinformation? The truth may be somewhere in the middle.

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Andrew Bartholomew

Andrew Bartholomew is a politics and election news writer from Iowa City, Iowa. He has previously worked for Young Americans for Liberty and was most recently the political director for a Republican congressional bid.

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