MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin pharmacist convinced the world was “crashing down” told police he tried to ruin hundreds of doses of coronavirus vaccine because he believed the shots would mutate people’s DNA, according to court documents released Monday.
Police in Grafton, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Milwaukee, arrested Advocate Aurora Health pharmacist Steven Brandenburg last week following an investigation into the 57 spoiled vials of the Moderna vaccine, which officials say contained enough doses to inoculate more than 500 people. Charges are pending.
“He’d formed this belief they were unsafe,” Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol said during a virtual hearing. He added that Brandenburg was upset because he and his wife are divorcing, and an Aurora employee said Brandenburg had taken a gun to work twice.
A detective wrote in a probable cause statement that Brandenburg, 46, is an admitted conspiracy theorist and that he told investigators he intentionally tried to ruin the vaccine because it could hurt people by changing their DNA.