The Uvalde massacre in May 2022, in which an armed assailant shot dead 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School, provoked a tsunami of grief and outrage throughout Texas, the United States, and beyond.
Unfortunately, however, it also prompted a grimly predictable slew of conspiracy theories, including the now-familiar "false flag" canards, which wrongly claimed the entire atrocity was sinisterly staged or orchestrated in order to advance a political agenda — typically presented as enhanced gun control.
Taking in the grief on the faces of those whose children were slaughtered in their school classroom, it's difficult to imagine that any observer could suggest the whole episode was a hoax and the mourners were "crisis actors" (performers who, according to conspiracy theorists, try to convince onlookers that a tragedy had occurred when it actually hadn't). And yet, that's exactly what some self-discrediting websites and activists did.
For example, on May 27, the right-wing propaganda site NewsTreason published a post with the headline, "False Flag? Uvalde Shooting Victim Has Different Fathers on CNN & NBC — How?"
The post contained a 90-second video that consisted of heavily-edited excerpts from two television interviews, designed to create the impression that sinister actors, including cable news networks, had staged the Uvalde massacre and used "crisis actors" to portray the loved ones of victims. In this particular case, promoters of the conspiracy theory focused on the family of 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, a fatal victim of the elementary school shooting.
According to the theory, the plotters slipped up by having two different "actors" play the same father, thus revealing their chicanery.
In reality, the two men interviewed were Garza's stepfather and biological father, each of whom was referred to simply as her father in each interview.
On May 25, CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Angel Garza, who is the stepfather of Amerie Jo Garza, and husband to the girl's mother, Kimberly Garcia. That interview can be watched in full on YouTube.
On May 26, Savannah Guthrie, presenter of NBC's Today, interviewed Alfred Garza III, who is the biological father of Amerie Jo Garza. That interview can also be watched in full on YouTube.
The girl's family relationships were clearly outlined in her obituary, which was published on the website of Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home in Uvalde on May 25 — before conspiracy theorists presented the remarks of her two fathers as having no reasonable explanation:
Amerie Jo Garza's obituary, which clearly explained that she had both a biological father and stepfather, was freely available online for five days before Charlie Kirk, conspiracy theorist and founder of the right-wing Turning Point USA, promoted the NewsTreason video on Rumble, and to his roughly 2.4 million Facebook followers.