The Michigan man who shot his wife, nearly killed their daughter and was fatally shot by police had fallen down a “rabbit hole” of conspiracy theories leading up to the shooting, his other daughter said.
Igor Lanis, 53, believed that “deep state” forces stole Donald Trump’s 2020 election, mass shootings and the January 6 “fake” riots, plotting to harm Americans with vaccines and 5G technologies. technology, Rebecca Lanis told NBC News on Wednesday.
The auto industry worker in suburban Detroit argued with his wife Tina Lanis (56) and daughter Rachel Lanis (25) early Sunday morning when the two women were about to drive away from their home, but not before Igor. Lanis opened fire with a shotgun. said Rebecca Lanis.
The 21-year-old was not at home at the time of the shooting and said he did not know what sparked the argument that turned deadly.
“They were both going to leave. My mother was packing something in the house before they left,” the younger Lanis said. ‘While my sister was waiting in the harbor. My father shot her, my sister. Then he shot my mother too.”
The Murder in Walled Lake, Michigan
Rachel Lanis called 911 at about 4:11 a.m. on Sunday and “declared that she had just been shot by her father” on Glenwood Drive in Walled Lake, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement:.
When officers and the Walled Lake Police Department arrived at the home, Igor Lanis came out the front door with a Remington 870 pump action rifle and fired at officers before firing back and killing him, the sheriff’s office said.
Tina Lanis was found dead, “shot multiple times in the back, and it appears she also tried to run out the front door,” the sheriff’s office said.
The family dog, a Great Pyrenees named Sammy, was also found dead, shot multiple times.
Rebecca Lanis suspects her father, mother and sister were arguing over politics or conspiracy theories, but she hasn’t asked her sister who is still alive.
“I just didn’t want to know, I don’t really want to know,” she said.
Rebecca Lanis wasn’t home when the shooting happened, but said she wished she’d been there early on Sunday because she thought she could have quickly got her sister and mother to safety.
“I kind of wonder if I could have driven there at 4am and they could have run up to my car and we could have driven off,” she said. “I don’t know.”
The loss of Trump in 2020 marked a turning point
The gunman worked as an auto parts designer, watched the Fox News Channel and supported Donald Trump — nothing out of the ordinary in this suburb, about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.
“In 2016 he was more normal,” said Rebecca Lanis. “I mean, he loved Trump, but he wasn’t crazy. But then came 2020.”
After President Joe Biden’s victory, the gunman went all out on Trump’s lies about a stolen election, his daughter said.
“In 2020, after the election, he started going crazy, he went off the deep end,” said Rebecca Lanis. “He started going down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories and QAnon. First it started with the ‘stolen elections’ and then he started talking about worse things, 5G, the vaccine, just everything.”
She said he was beginning to believe that “the deep state has stolen the elections and there is a global cabal to get conservatives”.
QAnon, deep state and anti-vaccine beliefs
Rebecca Lanis mainly blamed QAnon for her father’s deteriorating mental state, the false but widespread conspiracy theory about — among others — Trump leading a top-secret war against a cabal of pedophiles and criminals.
She said her father was also against vaccines and even 5G, the modern wireless technology he may have used to receive and spread those conspiracy theories.
“He thought the vaccines were going to kill us, that they really didn’t work and that 5G was there to harm people,” she said.
According to his daughter, the shooter’s TV habits have also changed over the past two years when he distanced himself from Fox News. In the days since November 3, 2020, Trump had signaled to supporters to stop watching the conservative cable news channel.
Trump Was Outraged That Fox News Is The Race For in Arizona for Biden.
“He used to only watch Fox News, but then he started watching OAN and Newsmax,” said Rebecca Lanis. “He thought (Fox News) was too lenient or not telling the truth.”
She said she had no qualms about blaming conspiracy theorists for her mother’s murder.
“Yes, and I also hold the social media sites accountable for not doing anything about it,” she said.
“It started to get a lot worse (after 2020) … and then, I think now, it reached the worst point it could ever reach.”
No motive yet, sheriff’s investigators said
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Department this week declined to speculate about what might have prompted Igor Lanis to open fire.
But detectives look through his phone and computer in hopes of understanding what sparked the shooting.
“We are investigating his phone and other electronic devices to determine a possible motive,” sheriff spokesman Stephen Huber said in a statement on Wednesday. “We will update as needed.”
Joshua Smith, a philosophy professor at Central Michigan University who studies misinformation and teaches righteous faith courses, said he was saddened by the circumstances leading up to this weekend’s violence in Walled Lake — but hardly surprised.
“It’s tragic and all too avoidable,” Smith said.
“Unfortunately, much of the discourse about these things is incredibly toxic,” he said. “It’s very easy to just start yelling at people when they disagree with you and when they think things are problematic.”
Though difficult, Smith said he believes it is still possible to reach those who have been sucked into the world of conspiracy theories.
“One of the things I like to tell my students is that when we’re interpreting others, trying to figure out what they’re saying, we should be doing this charitably,” he said.
QAnon and other conspiracy theories have torn families across America and, at times, led to violence.
Federal prosecutors charged a California surf school owner last year with the murder of his two children in Mexico. The suspect, Matthew Taylor Coleman, was a follower of the QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories that the children “would grow into monsters, so he had to kill them,” authorities said.
And a Florida woman is said to have murdered a fellow QAnon believer in 2020, believing the victim colluded with the government in a custody battle.