‘Deranged’ WWE Fan Shot by Law Enforcement Outside Performance Center
WWE doesn’t really need more drama after the Hulk Hogan unpleasantness, but it looks like they’re getting it anyway.
A man was shot by law enforcement at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida on Monday. Apparently, the deranged fan in question, who was reportedly obsessed with one of the female talents working with WWE, had been arrested at the Performance Center, which is the official training center for prospective talent, just a few days earlier. In fact, a restraining order had been filed against the suspect, although it’s unknown whether or not he had been served with it at the time of the shooting.
Naturally, WWE wasted no time in releasing a statement distancing themselves from the actions of the crazed fan, and specifying that this person is in no way affiliated with their company — well, beyond his dangerous, fanatical obsession with one of their employees.
“Unfortunately a deranged individual with no WWE affiliation, who had a court order prohibiting him from being on WWE property, was involved with an Orange County Sheriff’s deputy in the parking lot of the WWE Performance Center. We defer to the Orange County Sheriff’s department for further comment and information.”
According to Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, the 29-year-old Hispanic male showed up with a knife in the parking lot outside the center, and refused to stand down after several warnings. He apparently charged at law enforcement, who were called to the scene by staff at the Performance Center, so one of the deputies took a shot, hitting the suspect in the torso. The suspect is hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
The suspect apparently has a long history of mental illness, and obsession with WWE: from his creepy Instagram account to similarly unsettling YouTube page, which includes a one-hour rant on his experiences with psychotropic medications. In short, it seems like this incident — or something similar — was bound to happen, sooner or later. Hopefully, the man gets the help he needs. At the very least, here’s hoping he stays the hell away from WWE.
Ultimately, this has been a strange week for the company, between this and Hulk Hogan’s apology on Good Morning America for his leaked racist rant, in which he tearfully lamented how WWE threw him under the bus. I think that, even for pro wrestling, this is all probably a bit much.