Yesterday evening, a gun scare in downtown San Diego ended when cops discovered that what initially looked like an assault rifle was actually just a bong. But prior to figuring out that it was only a bong, the incident caused a significant public scare.
Reports of an Assault Rifle in Downtown San Diego
As per local San Diego news source CBS8, the incident occurred yesterday evening around 6:30 p.m.
At that time, a person in downtown San Diego saw a person waving what looked like an AR-15 assault rifle out of a hotel window.
After seeing the gun, the person located a couple of police officers who happened to be patrolling nearby. From there, the cops closed off the area and stopped all traffic.
After identifying the room where the gun had been seen, cops ordered the room’s occupants, one man and one woman, to leave the room.
A thorough search of the room eventually turned up the gun. According to CBS8, law enforcement agents found the object in a refrigerator inside the hotel room.
Upon inspecting the object, the cops quickly discovered that it was not, in fact, an AR-15. Instead, it was a gold-colored bong made to look like an assault rifle.
Authorities ended up releasing the woman who was in the room. But the man was detained and booked on suspicion of exhibiting a replica firearm in a threatening manner.
As of now, the man’s identity has not been released. Local media has only learned that he appears to be in his early 20s.
And so far, it is also unclear if the man is officially facing any criminal charges.
Bad Timing for a Gun Scare
Yesterday’s incident in San Diego comes amid ongoing—and arguably growing—public fear of mass shootings and gun violence. In particular, it happened on the same day as an actual shooting in Denver, Colorado.
Yesterday, in yet another tragic school shooting, two gunmen opened fire at STEM School Highlands Ranch. The shooting left an 18-year-old student dead and another eight students injured.
As of late Tuesday night, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said that authorities had identified the two suspects. One of them was an 18-year-old named Devon Erickson. But for now, the identity of the second suspect has not been released.
Law enforcement agents in Colorado reported that they apprehended the suspects and that neither one was injured.
With a seemingly endless series of shootings occurring around the country, it not surprising that yesterday’s incident in San Diego generated a high level of public fear and anxiety. Similarly, it is not surprising that it sparked a swift and significant response from local law enforcement.
But fortunately for those in downtown San Diego, the whole thing ended without anybody being harmed.
Yesterday’s incident in San Diego is not the first time cannabis paraphernalia has induced a weapons-related scare.
A couple of years ago, the Bellingham International Airport in Washington had a scare when a passenger tried to go through security with a weed grinder that looked like a grenade.
More recently, just last summer, a similar incident happened at an airport in Argentina. In this case, the airport was evacuated when authorities found a grenade-shaped grinder.