Some people like taking pictures of themselves with their guns. That’s fine, as the world needs all kinds. Most people, though, would understand that trying to take a picture with your guns should be done at home and not in a busy mall on the eve of Independence Day. Army sergeant Bryan Scott Wolfinger didn’t.
According to Wolfinger, he wasn’t planning to do anything violent when he wandered over to the Cross Creek Mall in North Carolina and started wandering around the stores with his assault rifle in hand. He just wanted to take some pictures of himself with his equipment. But considering that the nation isn’t even recovering from the Charleston shootings yet, this awful idea was even more disgusting in light of recent events.
Wolfinger was arrested at the Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, NC, about 10 miles outside of where Wolfinger is stationed at Fort Bragg, after panicked calls starting coming in to 911 about a man strolling through the Macy’s department store with an assault rifle. Cops rushed over to the mall and “the male subject was detained without incident and was in the possession of an AR-15 assault rifle, a Kevlar vest, and multiple rifle ammunition magazines,” a Fayetteville Police statement says, per CNN.
The police have stated that they received a great number of hysterical calls about Wolfinger’s behavior, but Wolfinger claims he never entered the mall, even though he was arrested at a Macy’s entrance and told authorities he was on his way to a photo studio to get his picture taken.
Wolfinger’s been charged with “going armed to the terror of the public” and police are looking into a charge stemming from his improper storage of a firearm (one that appears to have been loaded). Wolfinger’s AR-15 was not issued by the army. He’s also not the first person to wander into a mall with a gun after a mass shooting. Joseph Kelley carried firearms to a mall in Utah after the Sandy Hook shooting to show people that guns aren’t dangerous.
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