Parents of alleged pizza shop gunman: ‘He’s a dad first’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The parents of a North Carolina man charged with firing an assault rifle inside a Washington pizza parlor say children are very important to him and he has strong convictions as a father.

Terri Welch and Harry Welch Jr. tell The Washington Post ( ) that their son, Edgar Maddison Welch, is an affectionate father to two young girls.

The Welches say they have not been able to talk to their son since Dec. 4. That’s when, police say, the younger Welch walked into Comet Ping Pong and fired the rifle. No one was hurt.

Police say Welch said he was investigating a false account about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of the pizza place.

Terri and Harry Welch spoke at the public defender’s office in Washington on Monday.