Friday, December 28, 2012

Airsoft gun leads to Vancouver store lockdown

by Staff
Posted on December 28, 2012 at 5:13 PM
Updated Saturday, Dec 29 at 1:29 PM

VANCOUVER – Two people were arrested Friday after pointing an Airsoft gun, which led to the lockdown of a nearby department store.

Vancouver Police Commander Dave King said the three unidentified suspects had bought the [airsoft] gun and removed an orange safety tip. The nearby J.C. Penny store on Southeast Mill Plain was locked down after someone reported seeing the [airsoft] gun being brandished.

One of the suspects put the [airsoft] gun in a trash can as police were arriving. No one was hurt.

A 27-year-old man and 21-year-old woman were arrested on outstanding warrants, according to King. A third man was not arrested.

Two arrested after pointing Airsoft gun at cars outside J.C. Penney

Three people who were allegedly pointing an Airsoft gun at cars prompted the temporary lockdown of an east Vancouver department store Friday.

The call was reported around 12:40 p.m. at the J.C. Penney at 19005 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd.

Police responded after someone called 911 to report a group of people with a weapon in a car, said Vancouver police Cmdr. Dave King.

The store was placed in lockdown. Police arrived and found the Airsoft gun was placed in a trash can and three suspects were attempting to blend into the crowd, King said.

The group had purchased the [airsoft] gun less than an hour before the incident and removed the orange tip that identified the [airsoft] gun as a toy, King said.

Two of the three people, a 27-year-old man and 21-year-old woman, were arrested on outstanding warrants. The third suspect, a 42 year-old male, also had an outstanding warrant but was not arrested because it was non-extraditable, King said.

Police are attempting to see if the [airsoft] gun was pointed at any individuals to support potential brandishing charges.

“It’s not against the law to possess an Airsoft weapon,” King said. It is against the law to point anything at someone that appears like a weapon and causes alarm, he said.


This is an idiotic move to make. We must all practice airsoft safety, especially in the public.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Florida gun range lets customers shoot at each other

UPDATE: This story has been modified from an earlier version.

Combat Shooting Sports, a Florida gun range, has taken the concept of target practice to a whole new level. Customers can actually engage in simulated combat against other people, shooting real guns at each other.

However, as local affiliate WKMG explains, the customers aren't using live ammunition. Owner Dave Kaplan gives visitors a choice: He can modify your own gun to fire Simunition rounds. Simunition rounds are filled with compounds similar to those found in paintball rounds. They've been used by military and law enforcement organizations in training exercises.

"General dynamics created Simunition decades ago for the military and later law enforcement," Kaplan said in an email to Yahoo! News. "They recently created a civilian range program and we are probably the only facility doing person on person fighting. We are taking firearm training to a level previously held by professionals."

And while most customers are going for fun, Kaplan says a growing percentage of his visitors are women who show up to improve their personal safety skills and knowledge.

"Most women walk out of here very empowered, and that's the key," Tiffany Chapin, who teaches one of the safety courses targeted towards women, told WKMG.

"We are insured, certified, and [use] proper safety gear from the Simunition corporation is always utilized," Kaplan told Yahoo! News. "People are using real firearms modified to preclude the firing of a live/lethal round."

A trip to Combat Shooting Sports costs about $150, which includes the cost of the gun modification.

After receiving their modified guns and donning protective gear, customers are broken up into teams and take part in various games ranging from capture the flag to hostage simulations. Games can last from about 10 minutes to more than an hour. But customers are allowed to stay for the entire day, according to the company's website.

For more recreational shooters, Kaplan also owns Combat City, which offers customers the chance to engage in target practice and simulated fights using an Airsoft gun from the store.

The Airsoft rounds [airsoft bb's] don't inflict serious damage but they do hurt. An entry on the Combat City website explains, "There is a degree of pain associated with Airsoft just like paintball. It is significantly less than paintball and without the swelling."

And for added safety, participants are outfitted in a set of protective gear including helmets and padding over sensitive areas.

All of the action takes place inside a former grocery store that has been modified into an indoor combat setting.

Children are allowed to fire the Airsoft guns, but are put in situations where they are themselves on the receiving end of fire. (An earlier version of this contained a link to another story that inaccurately implied that the children were taking part in simulated combat exercises).

A disclaimer on the Combat City site says "all ages are welcome," adding, "We can not tell you what you or your child can handle. There are young kids playing at Combat City on a daily basis, only you can decide."

"We get 'em at all ages," Kaplan said in a separate interview with Fox35, noting that one of the participants on the video was 8-years-old.

Monday, November 12, 2012

University students create organization to play airsoft

Jacob Werner discovered airsoft in sixth grade, started playing and one by one, his friends joined and started playing also.

When Werner, a sophomore, and his friends enrolled in the University in the fall of 2011, they wanted to take their love of playing airsoft with them to college and started The Screaming Falcons the summer before attending.

"We hadn’t heard of other campuses with an airsoft group, but we grew up playing together so we thought this would be an opportunity for us to play in bigger events," said Chris Wegman, University sophomore and secretary for the group.

The Screaming Falcons started with 10 members, but used Campus Fest last year and this year to recruit new members. The group now consists of about 30 members.

"We know a lot of people play in their backyards, so we just want to consolidate that and get them to play with us," Werner said.

The Screaming Falcons took their name from the 101st Airborne Division, known as the Screaming Eagles, an air assault unit, Werner said.

"We play airsoft purely for sport, but our name is sort of for our admiration for the military," Werner, president of the group, said.

University sophomore and vice president of the group Nick Rafferty said airsoft is similar to paintball with the type of game play, but a more realistic version.

Two or more teams will play for a common objective, such as capture the flag or take out a team, but the main difference between the games is the realistic sense, Rafferty said.

"Airsoft guns don’t fire paint; they fire plastic pellets, which makes it more realistic," Rafferty said.

Werner said that this led to him playing airsoft in the first place.

"My brother was really into paintball, but the guns weren’t cool enough, so I played airsoft instead," Werner said.

University sophomore and treasurer of the group Jacob Feeney said he was in seventh grade when he first picked up an airsoft gun.

"I figured my best friend is playing, so I should start too," Feeney said.

Feeney said that he has continued playing just because he enjoys the overall experience.

"I like it because I’m out there all day with buddies and we get to joke around, but we have to be serious at times too," Feeney said.

Werner said he enjoys playing airsoft mainly because of the friends and camaraderie, but also for the reenactment part of it and the fact that it’s an active sport.

"You get an adrenaline rush that you don’t get when you play video games," Wegman said.

Rafferty also said that he gets an adrenaline rush when playing airsoft and just enjoys going out with his friends to play.

"It gives me something to do on the weekend and it’s fun to play as a team," Rafferty said. "I’ve played paintball before and it turns out that we never play well as a team, but with airsoft we do."

Werner said his favorite part of playing airsoft comes from the team aspect of the game.

"Working with people can really influence the game," Werner said. "One person can influence the game, but not as well as a group working together."

The Screaming Falcons meet every other Thursday night in Business Administration 1009 from 7 to 9 p.m. to discuss upcoming events.

The group usually plays two or three times a month when at least five members are available to play.

Any student can join The Screaming Falcons by going to one of the meetings or by contacting one of the officers of the group. The only requirement the team has is that members have goggles with full seal eye protection for safety reasons and the other gear, the team will help members find or loan their own.

"We’re always looking for new members," Werner said. "If you have anything or have nothing, we can incorporate you in as a team and help you out. It’s all about having fun."


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Parents urge Benson council to change law

Parents angered because their kids were cited for the use of Airsoft guns in the Benson City limits came to Monday night’s council meeting to ask that the city law be changed.

Janet Johnson told the council that her son was playing with airsoft guns with six other boys around the Goff bin site at the southern edge of the city recently.

The kids were witnessed playing on the property by an off-duty officer who called it in to the Benson police, she said. Benson officers arriving at the scene citing the boys for the firing of prohibited weapons within the city limits.

Johnson told the council that the parents did not want the kids shooting the airsoft guns in town. They were aware of the incident that had happened last year where the kids playing on school property had gotten in trouble for firing Airsoft guns. School was out at the time.

"We told them to go to the Goff site," Johnson said. "The boys did not know that the Goff bin site was in the city. They were doing what their parents had told them to do."

The boys cooperated fully with the officers and were respectful, Johnson said.


For more information regarding another law (SB1315 in California) that has passed regarding airsoft:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Teens Arrested for Impersonating an Officer tried to ‘Break up’ Party


Two teenagers were arrested Saturday night for allegedly impersonating police officers, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s office said in a release.

Actual deputies were called to a party at a home near Manteca Road and Sedan Avenue around 10:30 p.m. after the two were reported.

Once at the party, one of the teens – 18-year-old Kyle Clogston of Manteca – allegedly told sheriff’s deputies that he was a police officer. Deputies found that both Clogston and 19-year-old Lodi resident Marcus Bradford were dressed in tactical-style gear and armed with airsoft rifles and pistols with the orange tips painted black. Bradford was also said to have an imitation badge on his chest.

Eventually, both teens allegedly confessed to deputies that they had impersonated police officers in order to break up the party.

Both were arrested and booked at San Joaquin County Jail for impersonating an officer, impersonating an officer’s badge and possession of an imitation [airsoft] firearm.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Suspects use Scream mask, airsoft gun in carjacking attempts

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Visalia Police are investigating a series of attempted carjackings Monday night. They happened in a parking garage across the street from Kaweah Delta Medical Center near Locust and Mineral King.

Investigators arrested 25-year-old Brittney Gipson and 26-year-old Veronica Baker on charges of attempted carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon.

Visalia Police say the couple attempted to carjack at least two victims inside the parking structure across the street from Kaweah Delta Medical Center.

"It was a very brazen kind of crime for our area, especially in our downtown area -- in the middle of the afternoon," said Sgt. Jim Carr with the Visalia Police Department.

Police say they received multiple calls of attempted carjackings inside the structure at around 3:30 Monday afternoon. Investigators say 25-year-old Brittney Gipson was wearing a Scream Halloween mask while holding what appeared to be a weapon at the victims.

"They demanded the keys from the people, and they refused to give it to them, so they were able to get away and call us," said Carr.

Gibson and his 26-year-old girlfriend Veronica Baker were arrested three blocks from the structure on main and bridge near a movie theater, minutes after the incidents. Police found evidence that linked the two to the crime. "The mask was located in the purse of the female that was with the male when we contacted them on Main Street, as well as a glock-like weapon that turned out to be a an airsoft gun."

While the suspects were not successful in their attempts to steal a vehicle, they did terrify the victims. One that was visiting a family member, the other was making a doctor's appointment.

Both suspects were booked into the Tulare County Jail and face attempted carjacking charges.

(Copyright ©2012 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Anacortes police captain resigns after airsoft gun incident


An Anacortes police captain has resigned after he was charged last month in connection with an incident in which an airsoft gun was fired.

Capt. Grant Lightfoot is accused of shooting two teenage boys with an airsoft pistol as they passed by Lightfoot’s home on the way to a friend’s house.

According to police, the boys had multiple welts on their chests, arms and backs.

Officers questioned Lightfoot, who told them that the two boys were throwing rocks at Lightfoot’s 11-year-old son.

According to witnesses, the boys threw rocks after they were shot.

Lightfoot then admitted he and his son fired, but he said his son’s airsoft gun was the only one that was loaded.

Lightfoot was then put on paid administrative leave right after the incident in August, and he resigned late September after charges were filed.

According to documents, Lightfoot told investigators that the incident was "lighthearted and fun."

"This is really difficult for the whole organization, and especially the police department," said Emily Schuh, the Anacortes Human Resources director.

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Lee Stoll spoke with Lightfoot’s neighbor, Richard Gerlach, about the incident.

"It seems a little much for what happened, that he would lose his job over it," said Gerlach.

Gerlach has lived next to Lightfoot for years and said the officer would never hurt a child.

"He’s a good guy," said Gerlach. "We really pride ourselves on the public trust that we’ve earned in the community and the country and state, and to not have that in place right now is disheartening."

Lightfoot faces two counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of complicity in assault.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Markham woman struck in face with pellet from legal air gun

A walk in the park with family turned into a trip to the hospital for a Markham woman on Saturday. She was in a local park with her child when she heard loud bangs, followed by a sharp pain to her face. She had been struck by a pellet from an air gun, said Sgt. Gary Phillips of York Regional Police.

The culprit? A group of five youths nearby who had been using the gun to shoot cans in a backyard. All of the youths were under the age of 12, said Sgt. Phillips.

Many air guns, which include airsoft guns, pellet guns and other replica firearms, are legal in Canada. The use of replica firearms and air guns does still leave some police concerned.

"Last summer after an incident, we had an event where we showed a replica firearm, and one of the firearms that our emergency response team uses," said Sgt Phillips, referring to an incident in September when police were called to a Newmarket residence when a man spotted a youth with what appeared to be an assault rifle. "You couldn’t tell the difference."

In another incident in York Region this weekend, police pulled over a vehicle after a call from a motorist who saw what appeared to be a youth loading a handgun. The gun in question turned out to be an airsoft pistol, which was confiscated by police on the insistance of the youth’s parents, said Sgt. Phillips.

National Post

Youth Arrested for Airsoft Gun at Ridgefield High School

On Thursday, September 27 at 2:30 pm, Ridgefield Police saw "what appeared to be a shotgun" emerge from the passenger side of a vehicle travelling within the Ridgefield High School parking lot, police reports state.

Police pulled over the vehicle and found that the gun was "an Airsoft-type weapon without an orange tip," police said. The passenger who had allegedly brandished the [airsoft] gun was a 17 year-old male; he was brought to police headquarters and charged with breach of peace and brandishing a facsimile fire arm, according to police.

The youth was given juvenile summons to appear in court and was released to his parents.

Airsoft guns typically fire plastic BBs and are usually powered by battery or C02. Depending on their design, Airsoft guns can appear clearly toy-like with see-through plastic or may appear convincingly realistic. In accordance with federal law, all toy guns are required to be sold with orange tips, although these tips are sometimes removed after-market.

Czech president shot by air-gun-wielding assailant

In an eerie scene captured on video, Czech President Vaclav Klaus is approached by an armed assailant and shot in the arm. However, the attacker, who was dressed in camouflage, was carrying an "airsoft" gun that fires only harmless, plastic [airsoft bb] shells.

Airsoft guns are replicas of actual firearms, bearing a striking similarity to the real thing. They have become a popular alternative to paintball for recreational purposes. You can even buy airsoft guns modeled after firearms used in science-fiction films such as "Aliens."

"You really did not manage this well," Klaus, 71, reportedly told his bodyguards, in what may be the understatement of the year, as reported by local television station Nova.

In the video, the attacker simply walks up to Klaus and shoots him in the arm without anyone apparently taking notice. Klaus gives him a confused, stern look before turning back to the crowd he was greeting. He was reportedly taken to the hospital after the incident but suffered only minor bruises after the incident.

Even if his intentions were not lethal, the attacker apparently had a political message, saying the Czech government was "blind and deaf to the laments of the people," before being taken away by police.

However, the most interesting aspect of the aftermath may be that the attacker, who described himself as a 26-year-old communist sympathizer, was able to give an interview to the station before police apprehended him.

You can watch full video of the incident, including the attacker's interview, below:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Czech president's security chief resigns over attack

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Moscow : The head of security for Czech President Vaclav Klaus has resigned after his subordinates failed to prevent an "assassination" attempt on the president, Czech media report said.

The Ceske Noviny publication said a 26-year-old man, clad in camouflage fatigues, Friday forced his way through a crowd of people greeting Klaus at a bridge-opening ceremony in Chrastava, and shot at the president with a replica airsoft gun.

Klaus was taken to hospital and received treatment for minor bruises. He later criticised his bodyguards for failing to handle the situation appropriately.

Head of security Jiri Sklenka said: "Although I was not present at the place (of the incident) and I personally did not command the measures in Chrastava, after seeing the incident, I feel personal responsibility for the conduct of my subordinates, irrespective of whether they could prevent the incident or could not."

Sklenka said he decided to step down after seeing the footage of the incident broadcast by a television station.

The attacker, identified as Czech citizen Pavel Ondrous, was arrested and charged with hooliganism. He faces up to two years in prison.

Ondrous said he carried out the attack to attract the government's attention to the concerns of ordinary people.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Four arrested after fake gunfight

Four people were taken into custody following a fake gunfight in Newton Thursday afternoon.

Police received a call from the area of S.E. Second Street Thursday, claiming two men were chasing each other with guns and threatening to kill each other.

"One was a long gun and the other was a hand gun," said Lt. Craig Dunlevy of the Newton Police Department. "Neighbors heard the them threatening to shoot each other. ... It alarmed the neighbors. According to the men, it was just in fun, but they were grown men playing a child's game and it alarmed the neighborhood."

They called attention to themselves in a neighborhood that Dunlevy said was fairly quiet.

Police found the men, and the weapons in question. One was a BB gun, the other an Airsoft gun. Neither was loaded.

Four people were arrested, charged with disorderly conduct. One was arrested on an outstanding warrant, and another was arrested for violation of bond restrictions.

"We put a lot of resources into these two guys running around with fake guns," Dunlevy said. "We didn't know they were fake at the time, and neither did the neighbors."

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Police warn replica guns will be treated as real after Newmarket incident

AURORA - By the time you’ve read this paragraph, it’s already too late to tell if a gun pointed at you is real or fake.

And if you aim a look-a-like rifle or handgun at a cop, you risk not being left alive to tell a judge "but it was only a replica!"

Those were among the grim warnings York Regional Police issued Wednesday, after three teens were recently arrested in Newmarket while playing with increasingly-popular, realistic assault battle game rifles.

The toy gun trio, whose Airsoft weapons fire plastic projectiles, were released without charges after officers determined no one was threatened, Const. Blair McQuillan said.

Officers were called when someone reported seeing a teen armed with what appeared to be a real AR-15 assault rifle after he walked in front of a house from the back yard.

After apologizing, they were released to their parents with a warning, McQuillan said.
"We’ll treat them as real when we see them," he said after officers set police assault rifles and handguns on a table beside matching replicas.

Holding a confiscated rifle, he said "this is an unregulated item, but if it’s used in the commission of an offence, it will be treated as a criminal offence."

Airsoft game guns, including replica machine guns and sniper rifles are sold online, at flea markets and sporting goods stores at prices ranging from $200 to $800.

"As long as they are used in a controlled setting, such as inside a building or an open area away from a community, they’re legal," McQuillan said.

Many owners prefer to take them to paint ball facilities.

Despite being made of plastic, one of the [airsoft BB] projectiles "can raise a welt," McQuiggan said. "And if the person you hit was not part of the game, you could be charged."

Plastic toy [airsoft] guns must have red or orange tips when sold in the U.S. Though not required here, most imports are fitted with what some bravado boys simply paint over, a firearms expert said later.

Pellet and B-B guns come under separate regulations.

The Toronto Airsoft store’s phone was constantly busy Tuesday.

Since most people don’t know real from replica, fake gun-users have committed robberies or swaggered with them in public.

In Toronto, Meneliki Jafari David-Lee, 21, faced four gun-related charges Sunday after an Apple iPad owner reported fleeing an armed man who answered his sales ad on Kijiji.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Police Response Time

11 News is investigating why it took police four hours to respond to a mother's calls about children getting shot by an Airsoft BB gun.

It happened in a neighborhood that is surrounded with crime in the area near Astrozon and Jet Wing Drive.

Police say they say they couldn't respond to the reports of children being shot in that neighborhood because they had to send most of the officers working in the area to a Standoff with a wanted man. But neighbors say that’s not a good enough reason.

Neighbors along Cather Circle say someone is shooting an Airsoft BB gun at several kids and even adults.

"They were deliberately shooting. I'm pretty sure they were aiming for one of us," Justin Sims said.

Justin Sims lives next door to Lisa Thompson. She called 11 News Monday night after her child was shot.

"Its very unnerving that someone would try to hurt a child," Thompson explained.
She called police at 6 o'clock and an officer didn't show up until 10pm Monday night. Her neighbors are also frustrated.

"Four hours is definitely a little bit much when you're talking something that serious, little kids getting shot with [airsoft] pellet guns that's no good," Sims said.

But the police department says that kind of response time is not out of the ordinary. On any given night police tell 11 News they receive several calls and they don't have enough officers.

Police tell 11 News on a scale from one to four, with one being a life threatening emergency this call was a three.

The officer who did eventually come out to the neighborhood took down a report and asked neighbors to call him if it happens again.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Suicidal man threatens officers with airsoft gun

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. -- Colorado Springs Police officers were able to take a suicidal man into custody before he was able to hurt anyone early Monday morning.

Officers said the man was threatening to either kill himself or make officers kill him in the 700 block of East Boulder Street around 2:34 a.m. The man told officers on the phone he had an assault rifle.

Officers talked him outside, but he would not put down the gun, so they fired a less lethal shotgun into the air. The man then immediately put down his gun, which turned out to be a replica airsoft gun without the orange tip.

Officers took the man to a hospital for a psychological evaluation and have not released his name.

(Seems like people in Colorado are appearing in the news more often in regards to issues with airsoft.)

Mother Upset Police Did Not Respond Quickly

A mother is angry that police didn't come right away after she reported a crime.
Neighbors in the Cather Circle area of Colorado Springs say someone is shooting at several kids who play outside. They think the shooter is using some sort of BB or [airsoft] Pellet Gun.

"He was coming towards the house and got shot from behind," Lisa Thompson explained.
Lisa Thompson is in disbelief, she says both of her kids have been hit and she has no idea who is pulling the trigger.

"All I thought of is it could've been his eye," Thompson said.

Her son Arthur describes what happened and shows 11 News the type of Airsoft BB that hit him.
"I was just walking across the street and all I felt was a pain and a hit on the back of my leg," Arthur said.

Thompson says she called police several times Monday but their reaction time isn't fast enough.
"They said we don't have anyone available so we're not sending anyone," Thompson said.

11 News spoke to Police about this situation; they explained that they have to respond to calls based on the level of emergency. Police have noted this problem and hope to send a patrol car out to the area.

If you know who is shooting at these kids, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers 634-STOP.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Suspect Shot by Police, Airsoft Gun and Ecstasy Found in Car

A 22-year-old man is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Vallejo early Sunday morning.
The man was in a car near Pepper Drive and Lofas Place with another person when a police patrol spotted them. Police say that the area was the site of a recent gang related shooting, along with four other shootings.

Because of this recent activity, the officers approached and shined their spotlights into car. It being around 4:30 in the morning, police wanted to know why the man was in the area.
Right after shining their lights, the man got out of the car – with the butt of what looked to be a handgun showing near his waistband, police say.

The man then reached for the handgun and ducked behind the door of the car, only to stand back up again with the gun in hand.

With the man turning towards them, officers believed that he was going to shoot at them, so they opened fired. The two officers fired two volleys: the first ended and they didn’t know if the man was hit, the second started because the suspect apparently tried to enter the car and reach for the center console.

The officers stopped firing once they saw that the man was slumped back into the driver’s seat. He was taken to the Vallejo Kaiser where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The other person in the car was hit during the shooting, either by a bullet or shrapnel, and was taken to the hospital.

Later, a search of the car found an Airsoft replica handgun, 50 pills of ecstasy and packing materials. Due to the packing materials, police believe that the men intended to sell the drugs.
Both officers weren’t injured during the shooting and were placed on administrative leave, per department policy after shootings.

(Guns, whether it be airsoft or real, do not mix!)

Vallejo cops kill man holding pellet gun

A 23-year-old man was killed by Vallejo police early Sunday after he turned toward officers with what looked like a gun in his hand - but it turned out to be a fake [airsoft] weapon, according to authorities.

Police Sgt. Jeff Bassett said officers opened fire because they believed the man - who was standing behind the open door of a car - "was about to engage them with the handgun."
A 21-year-old man was also injured in the shooting when he was struck in the buttocks, Bassett said in a statement.

Police, however, did not find an actual gun in the car after the shooting ended. Bassett said they instead found an Airsoft replica handgun, a fake gun that fires plastic airsoft pellets, as well as more than 50 pills of ecstasy.

The incident comes just months after a spate of fatal officer-involved shootings in the Solano County city. Between May and the end of June, police in Vallejo fatally shot four men. While authorities said two of them had brandished guns before they were shot, the third had a BB gun and the fourth, a 17-year-old robbery suspect, was holding only a metal wallet.

Sunday's incident began at 4:33 a.m., when two officers patrolling the area around Pepper Drive and Lofas Place saw two men in a parked car on the 100 block of Pepper Drive. The officers tried to make contact with the men because of recent gang-related shootings in the area, and used their spotlights to illuminate the vehicle's interior as they approached it, Bassett said.

Crouching behind door
The driver immediately got out of the car and stood partially concealed behind the door, Bassett said "The butt of a [airsoft] handgun could be seen in his waistband area," he said. "The driver reached for the weapon as he crouched and turned away from officers behind the door of the vehicle. He then began to stand up with the [airsoft] weapon in his hand as he continued his turning motion back toward the officers who were in front of him. Believing that the driver was about to engage them with the handgun, both officers drew their weapons and shot at the driver."

After the first volley of shots, Bassett said, the suspect crouched behind the door. He said the officers - who were unsure whether they had struck the man - "ceased fire and began to yell at the suspect to show his hands."

The man raised his hands but then put them down and reached into the car, toward the center console, Bassett said. The officers fired again, he said.

"The shooting ceased when the officers saw that suspect stopped moving toward the console and had slumped back into the driver's seat," he said.

21-year-old hospitalized
The officers then called paramedics, Bassett said. The 23-year-old man was taken to Vallejo Kaiser, where he was pronounced dead. The 21-year-old was taken to John Muir Medical Center, where he is being treated.

Neither man was identified by police, who said they are still trying to locate and notify family members. The officers' names were not released either.

The officers were placed on administrative leave, and both the police department and Solano County district attorney's office are investigating the incident, Bassett said.

Marisa Lagos is a Chronicle staff writer.

(Seems like San Francisco has a pretty strong history of police shootings.)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Man tussles with Walmart loss prevention officers

FORT WALTON BEACH - A Shalimar man is accused of trying to defraud a local discount store of merchandise and money, then scrapping with loss prevention officers who confronted him.

On Aug. 11 the 27-year-old man came into the Beal Parkway Walmart store and went to the Sporting Goods Department, where he chose an Airsoft gun. He then went to the Hardware Department, where he removed the gun from its packaging and hid it on his person. He left the store, got into his car, parked in a different spot, then went back inside to the Customer Service desk and returned the gun for a refund.

After the return was finished, he went back to the Sporting Goods Department, chose two packages of Airsoft pellets and put them into his pants pocket. He left the store without paying for the merchandise.

He was confronted by two Walmart loss prevention officers, and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, one of the Walmart employees fell to the ground.

The man was later arrested and identified in a lineup.

He was charged with petty theft and resisting the recovery of property by a retail merchant or farmer.

His court date is Aug. 28.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bullet removed from journalist’s neck

Doctors at the Hasanuddin University Hospital in Makassar, South Sulawesi, have successfully removed a bullet lodged in the neck of Salahuddin, a local journalist from Nuansa TV, in Palu, Central Sulawesi on Thursday.

Salahuddin, who was transferred from Undata Palu hospital, underwent surgery for 1.5 hours after he was shot with an airsoft gun while covering a recent brawl between residents of Binangga village and Padende village in Sigi regency, Central Sulawesi.

"The bullet, which we have removed from his neck, has splintered," said Andi Asadul Islam, a neurosurgeon at Hasanuddin University Hospital after the surgery.

Asadul explained that the splinters had found their way into the right side of the patient’s neck bone, which is connected to the spinal cord. The surgeon gave assurances that the bullet had not affected the patient’s central nervous system.

"He will be alright and will return to normal. There is nothing to worry about," Asadul said.
He added that he had no idea what type of bullet had hit the journalist. Salahuddin is currently being treated at the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Teen facing prison may testify against mother

A young man is facing up to 10 years in prison for breaking into houses, but prosecutors have agreed to recommend a lightened sentence if the suspect testifies against his mother.

Patrick John Quinata, 19, was indicted for seven burglaries in 2011, and Superior Court
of Guam documents accuse him of stealing jewelry, a collection of silver and half-dollar coins, two Airsoft Pistols and at least real four guns -- including one assault rifle.

Earlier this year, Quinata pleaded guilty to burglary and theft, both as second-degree felonies, according to Superior Court of Guam documents. Quinata faces up to five years for each crime, his plea agreement states.

However, prosecutors offered to recommend a lightened sentence for the burglar if he testifies against his mother, Nalani Cruz Quinata, who allegedly profited from his crime spree.

Nalani Quinata is facing trial for charges of conspiracy to commit theft, conspiracy to commit burglary and two counts of theft by receiving stolen property -- all as second-degree felonies.

Although she has been indicted, Nalani Quinata isn't in custody, and there is an outstanding warrant for her arrest, said Josh Tenorio, a spokesman for the Judiciary.

According to court documents, Nalani Quinata allegedly admitted to police that she sold the jewelry stolen by her son at pawn shops and used the money to purchase methamphetamine, or ice.

Defense Attorney Jeff Moots, who represents Patrick Quinata, yesterday said his client's story was a tragic one.

Moots said his client "fell in with the wrong crowd," after dropping out of school, and his mother didn't steer him back to an honest path. Since being allowed pre-trial release away from his mother, the man has started going back to school, Moots said.

"I can tell you that in my experience, if the parent is involved in illegal activity either passively or even overtly with a kid, usually the kid would not have been involved if not for the parent," Moots said. "It's always possible for kids to get into trouble when their parents are trying to set the example and raise them properly, but if your parent is encouraging you to engage in ... illegal activity, you almost don't stand a chance."

Patrick Quinata was to be sentenced during a court hearing yesterday morning, but the sentencing was delayed so the suspect will have time to testify if his mother is apprehended.

Patrick Quinata is due back in court on Sept. 19.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Football: CU Buffs' Jeff Thomas to grayshirt

The Buffs are counting on a large number of freshmen to play significant roles this season.
Jeff Thomas will not be one of them.

Jon Embree said the 6-foot-3 wide receiver from Dallas has returned home to deal with personal issues. Thomas plans to "grayshirt," which means he will delay his enrollment at Colorado until January.

CU's second-year head coach had already suspended Thomas for the first two games of this season due to his involvement in an airsoft gun incident with Boulder police just before fall camp began.

"When you walk through those (practice field) gates you've got to be able to think about ball," Embree said. "And I don't think he was at that point with some of those things. It was better for him to go back home and take care of some of that stuff."

Even though Thomas did participate in practices during this camp, Embree said the football program has worked "hand in hand" with compliance and he expects Thomas' eligibility clock to begin ticking with the 2013 season.

Thomas, who Embree expects to take classes at a junior college this semester, will not be suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season.

"Now he misses the whole year," Embree said. "It kind of evens out."
Gerald Thomas, a 5-11 freshman wide receiver from New Orleans, is expected to have an immediate impact for CU.

Paul Richardson, the Buffs' top pass-catching target, has already been ruled out for the first two games as the junior continues his recovery from last spring's ACL tear.

New starting quarterback Jordan Webb said after last Saturday's scrimmage that he has a lot of confidence in sophomore Tyler McCulloch and redshirt freshman Nelson Spruce.
Showdown ticket update

CU has sold 23,000 tickets to the public for the Sept. 1 opener against Colorado State at Sports Authority Field in Denver. Sports information director Dave Plati said CU has about 5,000
Click on any photo to see full gallery tickets remaining in its allotment for this year's Rocky Mountain Showdown.

CU has also sold about 5,000 student tickets and expects that number to double before kickoff, bringing the estimated total to about 34,000 overall tickets sold on the black and gold side of the rivalry.

The CSU ticket office has dropped the price for its student tickets from $30 to $25 and extended the deadline for purchase to Aug. 29. Only about 3,000 students have bought tickets to support the Rams so far.

As far as season ticket sales go, CU has sold about 23,000 to date, which is close to last year's number at this time.

Fresher and faster
After giving the Buffs Wednesday afternoon off instead of grinding through the final scheduled two-a-day of camp, Embree said his players responded with a crisp practice on Thursday.
"We're starting to get our legs back. Sharp practice today, a lot faster," Embree said. "We're starting to lose their camp legs and getting their game-speed legs going, so to speak."
Posted: 08/23/2012 06:06:01 PM MDT
August 24, 2012 12:26 AM GMTUpdated: 08/23/2012 06:26:42 PM MDT

Man sentenced for threatening teens

A 42-year-old Holbrook Highlands man was sentenced Wednesday to 62 days in Douglas County Jail for threatening a group of teenagers with a plastic Airsoft pistol, and drunk driving.

Neil Dettorre pleaded guilty to assault and driving under the influence stemming from the June 5 incident at Topaz Lake.

Officers were called to Topaz Park Road about 9:30 p.m. for a report of an intoxicated man walking with a [airsoft] gun, later following the reporting party in his truck.

Seven teenagers ages 13-16 were camping along the beach and saw a man described as Dettorre
park above them on the roadway. Four of them drove up the road to ask if the driver needed help.
They told deputies Dettorre allegedly pointed a [airsoft] gun at them and said, "Stay in the truck."

One of the four ran back to the campsite to call 911, and went to the Topaz Lodge from the campground.

Deputies arrived in two vehicles and found the pickup with Dettorre in the driver's seat, lights on, with the engine running and the vehicle blocking the roadway.

Dettorre was handcuffed and detained in a patrol car. He denied having a gun. The plastic airsoft pistol was shoved in between the driver and the passenger seat of his truck, according to reports.
His blood-alcohol content was .138, over the legal limit of .08.

East Fork Judge Tom Perkins sentenced Dettorre on Wednesday to 62 days in custody, and suspended 60 days for two years. He fined Dettorre $897 and ordered him to complete DUI school and attend a Victim Impact Panel.

He must abstain from drugs and alcohol, and may not have any firearms including [airsoft] replicas.

Dettorre is under the supervision of the Department of Alternative Sentencing for at least one year.

"You're going to be under supervision for awhile," Perkins said. "I've got to make sure you're OK."

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mooseherd owner cleared; officers reprimanded

Underage drinking charges against a local business owner and two minors have been dropped.
Also, the two citing police officers in the case have been assigned more training by the police chief after not following procedure.

"The punishment for the officers is weak and they should suffer worse consequences like suspension, classes and all information being added to their permanent files so future law agencies know that they have a flaw as an officer," Frank Mucerino Jr. released in a statement to The Herald.

Dickson police cited Mucerino, Mooseherd Airsoft owner, in July with two counts contributing to underage drinking.

"(The officers) put my personal name and character on a citation and incident report full of lies and inaccurate information to which I would have been accountable for," Mucerino stated, "yet they do not have to be accountable for their mistakes and actions."

The patrol officers also charged William Hall, 18, of Burns, and Steven C. Smith, 19, of White Bluff, with underage consumption from the same incident.

The district attorney’s office dropped all those charges, however, after Mucerino filed a complaint against the citing officers for improper procedure and lying on their reports.

The district attorney’s office did not return calls about the dropped charges by press time.
Dickson Police Chief Rick Chandler also ruled the patrol officers, Val Duran and Rob Peeler, did not "properly follow procedure" during the July 8 encounter at Mooseherd Airsoft at 281 Dickson Plaza Drive.

"In my opinion the officers involved made terrible decisions on the scene and made many mistakes, some of which were not addressed or captured on audio," Mucerino continued. "They are a liability on the streets and are incapable as officers to make the right decisions when needed.

Chandler explained the officers coerced Mucerino into granting permission to search his business; omitted information from the incident report; found no evidence of underage drinking at the business; and that Mucerino wasn’t present at Mooseherd during the underage party.
Dickson Police Detective Don Arnold investigated Mucerino’s complaint about the officers’ misconduct, which culminated in an "internal hearing" Thursday. Chandler presided over the hearing.

Chandler "ruled against" the officers’ conduct during the July 8 incident, and assigned Duran and Peeler additional training on police search and seizure guidelines and "the laws concerning what they dealt with that night."

"They did not get permission to enter the business by free will," Chandler explained. "They used more coercion than what the law requires."

Chandler noted neither officer has received a complaint of this nature before. Peeler has served and protected the city for 13 months, and Duran for 10 months.
"You get complaints all the time on officers for doing different things, but that’s one of the things we stress," he continued. "Everybody has constitutional rights, and you can’t infringe on those, and if I find out you’re doing it we’re going to re-train you, make sure you get properly trained on how to do it."

Chandler explained officers can persuade suspects into granting permission for home and/or vehicle searches, but they can’t "coerce" the suspects into conceding that permission.
"And my opinion after listening to the tape and the testimony, it got to the point where it was not free will that (Mucerino) allowed them to come in," Chandler said.

The underage consumption citation also didn’t match Peeler’s incident report.
"Sometimes officers take shortcuts on doing reports," said Chandler. "They’ll say one thing in the narrative on their affidavit or the citation, and the report doesn’t reflect it that way.

"And that was an issue on this one that I had to deal with too, about proper training," he added.
The citation for Mucerino reported: "(Mucerino) stated that he was with two underage subjects while they were consuming alcohol." The incident report, however, doesn’t mention this allegation. The citation also listed the wrong law.

"He left some things out that he should have put in the report," Chandler explained. "We got a saying in police work, ‘If you don’t put it in writing it didn’t happen,’ because what I put on the affidavit of complaint should be exactly what I put in my report and vice versa."

Chandler, however, didn’t think the report and affidavit discrepancies were intentional.
"Because a lot of time what happens, a lot of officers write out and they do the report a couple of days later and they forget to put stuff in, and then that’s the problem with that," he noted. "I think (Peeler) waited several days to do the report and left some of the stuff out of the report that was in the affidavit."

The officers didn’t find any evidence (beer cans, beer bottles, etc.) of underage drinking at Mooseherd either. Any such evidence isn’t noted in the report or affidavits.

"There was nothing in the evidence, my understanding... that indicated there was drinking going on in the business," Chandler posited.

Mucerino wasn’t at the underage party July 8, but allowed a patron "to borrow his business," Chandler reported. Mucerino told the chief he arrived five minutes before police that night.
Chandler noted two minors had drunk alcohol "somewhere else" prior to the Mooseherd party. The chief said he wasn’t sure if any law regulated whether or not a person can allow someone over 18, but under 21, to drink in his/her presence if he/she didn’t furnish the alcohol or allow the minors to drink.

"To me, I think that’s still the debate whether or not you can actually charge," said Chandler. "I think you’d have a venue issue with the two boys who had been drinking in White Bluff who came here."

Herald article
The Herald published an article July 27 about the citations for underage consumption at Mooseherd and the complaint filed by Mucerino against the officers. Mucerino stated the article was a personal attack by The Herald.

"I think the situation was not handled in a timely manner by the Dickson Police Department, which in turn led to the information of an incident under investigation being released to The Dickson Herald," Mucerino said in the release. "The article that was printed by The Herald was in my opinion a personal attack by a paper lacking real facts and real news, and used my name and my business as a means to make me and my business look like we are in the wrong and have cost us money and business."

Incident reports and affidavits are public information.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ronnie Wynn, Alleged Car Thief, Caught On Tape Shooting Guns While Driving

A 23-year-old man accused of racing through the streets of Vancouver, Wa., while shooting a stolen gun out his car window may have a hard time denying the charges.

Especially since he posted a video of himself online with his gun blazing.

Officers arrested Wynn last month after he allegedly crashed a stolen car, but when they started investigating him further they found a video on Facebook showing him shooting a .45 while driving recklessly, KPTV-TV reported.

The video, which was filmed by a teenage girl riding shotgun, shows him passing a police car, pulling out a silver handgun and firing a shot out the window, before yelling, "You heard that? That's a .45 (expletive)."

Later in the video, you can hear the car tires squealing before the suspect pulls out another gun –- an airsoft rifle.

Wynn -- who calls himself "Ron Gotti" -- was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a stolen vehicle and outstanding superior and district court warrants.
In addition, charges of second-degree possession of stolen property, driving with a suspended license, making false statements and hit-and-run were referred to prosecutors, according to the Columbian newspaper.

But the hits just keep on coming.

While in jail, Wynn was also accused of residential burglary, second-degree theft, two counts of theft of a firearm, three counts of trafficking stolen property, forgery, second-degree identity theft, financial fraud and three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with an unrelated case.

According to court documents, Wynn stole a Ruger pistol, an assault rife, an Airsoft HK assault rifle replica, a wristwatch and checks from his uncle's home when the uncle was on vacation.
He unlawfully entered his uncle's home by slipping through a doggie door, and allegedly sold the firearms for cash, drugs and other property — including a game console and 9-mm pistol.

One of the videos that Wynn posted on his Facebook page showed a man who looked like him with a handgun on the floor between his feet, explaining that he got it after selling his uncle's firearms, police told the Columbian.

Wynn is locked up in the Clark County Jail and scheduled to go on trial on September 17.
Meanwhile, his mother, Carri Wynn, told KPTV-TV that she is is heartbroken over the video and how it makes her son look.

"My son is not a bad son," she said. "Ronnie is a good kid who went the wrong way."

Wynn's mother said he has had problems with drugs, got mixed up with the wrong people, but calls her every day from jail feeling "very remorseful" and "very stupid." 

"He wishes he didn't make the choices he did, wishes he wasn't were he's at," she said. "Don't judge. People make bad mistakes. Thank god he didn't hurt anyone."

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Police arrest 78, seize 178 guns over two weeks

Jakarta Police said on Friday that they had arrested 78 suspects in various crimes across the city in the first half of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan.

Included in the list of detainees were the suspects in the recent café raid in Pesanggrahan and those of the violent bullying at Don Bosco High School in Pondok Indah, both in South Jakarta.

“Of the 78 detainees, 36 were arrested for conducting raids, 26 for street crimes, seven for the Don Bosco bullying, three for robbing minimarkets, and six for armed robbery of bank customers,” police’s chief of operations Sr. Comr. Agung Budi Maryoto said.

Of the 36 arrested for conducting raids, 23 were perpetrators of the raid on De Most café in Pesanggrahan on July 28 -— two of whom are underage boys. The remaining 13 were arrested by the West Jakarta Police for a separate raid in the municipality, Agung said. “All 36 were arrested for criminal damage and publicly brandishing bladed weapons,” he continued.

As for the 26 arrested for street crimes, 16 were detained at the city police’s general crimes directorate and the remaining 10 at the East Jakarta Police office. The police did not disclose any details regarding their crimes other than saying that they involved “assault and breaking and entering”.

During the same period, the police also confiscated 178 guns, comprising 61 firearms and 117 airsoft guns. Fifty-two of the 61 firearms were handguns and the remaining nine were rifles.

Of the 117 airsoft guns, 40 were airsoft handguns and 77 were airsoft rifles. “We have also seized 2,030 live rounds and 67,506 airsoft gun BB pellets,” Agung said, adding that 17 suspects had been arrested by various police offices across Jakarta for crimes related to the confiscated guns.

Separately, police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said that the police could provide escorts for people transporting large sums of money in the days before the holidays, including for bank customers withdrawing large amounts from their accounts.

“The service is free of charge and is accessible by all,” he said, adding that the service was offered to prevent instances of robbery.

Reports say that an AK-47 police service rifle went off accidentally duringsuch an escort service at the Kelapa Gading Mall in North Jakarta. Rikwanto confirmed the incident took place when First Brig. RG was escorting money being transferred by PT Securicor from a retail clothing outlet at the mall.

The bullet struck the floor, causing shards of floor tiles to ricochet into the legs of Aditya Pradana, 31, and Ahmad Syakiri, 26, both of whom were transferred immediately to a nearby hospital.

First Brig. RG is currently being questioned at the city police’s internalaffairs division. The rifle and bullet casing have been confiscated.

— JP/Iman Mahditama

Friday, August 03, 2012

Supreme Court overturns search of Bellevue student's backpack was illegal

Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer
August 2,
2012 · 5:18 PM

The State Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a 2009 search of
a student's backpack that yielded an airsoft gun and led to the conviction of a
student was not legal, because the school officer was acting in a law
enforcement role, requiring him to first obtain a search warrant.

According to a 6-3 court margin, Officer Michael Fry's
actions did not fall under an exception that allows school officials to search
students without a warrant, therefore the evidence should have been suppressed
at trial.

"At the time of the search, Fry was seeking to obtain
evidence for criminal prosecution, not evidence for informal school
discipline," Judge Susan Owens wrote in the majority opinion.

"Further, the search was not to maintain order because (the student) was
being removed from school regardless."

Court documents say that the student was arrested in 2009 in
the bathroom of Robinswood High School, a now closed alternative school, when
the school resource officer witnessed the student handling marijuana. The
officer was contracted from the Bellevue Police Department. He placed the
student under arrest, and while waiting for backup became suspicious of the
contents of the student's backpack. He then searched it and founded a replica
Beretta airsoft gun.

The student and his legal team did not dispute what was
found, but in the manner it was pursued. After losing the case at three
different levels, the Supreme Court was the first to agree with the student.
This is because previous cases indicate the officer was in
the right, the three dissenting judges wrote. The dissenting judges argued that
the school resource officer remains a school official whether he is acting in a
law enforcement capacity or not because he is working to maintain order within
the school for an infraction committed on its ground.

Furthermore, the judges argued, the ruling will put restrict
school resources officers and put more pressure on faculty to police students.
"Schools will now be dissuaded from using school
resource officers to detect and intercept violations of school rules or the
law," Judge Debra Stevens wrote in the dissenting opinion. "Instead,
teachers and other school administrators who have reasonable suspicion but lack
probable cause, must conduct such searches themselves. The constitution does
not demand such foolhardiness, nor is it necessarily conducive to respect for
student privacy."

Monday, July 30, 2012

Man helps catch teens who shot him with air gun in Rancho Cucamonga

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (KABC) -- A man who was shot with an air gun
while driving his car didn't wait around for authorities to
apprehend the suspects.

Dan Laue said he was leaving work around 11 p.m. Sunday when
he noticed a car pull up next to him on Foothill Boulevard at the 15 Freeway in
Rancho Cucamonga.

"As soon as the car drove up, I saw it come up next to
me really close. I saw something come out the window, so I immediately went to
look. I heard a shot and I immediately felt pain in my neck," Laue said.
He said he thinks they were using an Airsoft rifle, one that shoots small airsoft

So, Laue called 911 - but that's not all. He chased after
them, doing whatever he could to make sure they didn't get away. Since his call
to 911 went through the OnStar system in his Chevrolet Camaro, he was able to
use his iPhone to shoot video of what was happening.

"Hey, I just got shot in the neck by these guys, I'm
chasing them," Laue told the dispatcher.

"Are you injured?" the dispatcher asks.

"I don't know, it's dark," he replies.

"Can you pull over so I can get you medical
attention?" the dispatcher asks.

"No, I'm not letting go of them. You guys catch up,"
Laue said.

Moments later, a sheriff's deputy saw what was happening and
pulled the suspect vehicle over. Two 17 year olds, who were not identified
because they are minors, were arrested on misdemeanor charges of brandishing a
replica firearm.

The San Bernardino Sheriff's Department said deputies
recovered two Airsoft rifles in the suspect vehicle and one airsoft pellet in
Laue's vehicle.

Laue said the injury to his neck was minor.

Asked why he wouldn't pull over for the dispatcher, Laue
said, "Because I knew if I didn't get behind them until a sheriff's car
was behind them, they were going to get away. Whether it was a real gun or not,
I was ready to ram them at some point if I needed to, if it was a real gun.

"This happens too many times in our country, and I'm
not going to let it happen to me and let someone get away with a crime like

(Copyright ©2012 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

National Guard recruits stay local with airsoft training

Young recruits with the Washington Army National Guard received realistic
training last weekend for their upcoming basic courses. Some of the recruits
are still waiting to move on to the next stage of their career as a soldier and
are not authorized to use real firearms. Instead - they walk, run and crawl
with airsoft guns.

Airsoft isn’t as messy or archaic as paintball as described by Sfc. Mike
Whitacre. He’s the lead on their July training at Spokane Airsoft located in
Northtown Mall. They only get a single weekend in a month to work with the
recruits, so they try to mix up the training locations to bring some recruits
closer to home.

“We can stay local. We only have two days for these guys to get trained,”
Sfc. Whitacre said. “ weekend a month so if we’re spending a lot of time
on the road to let’s say Yakima, we’re taking away a lot of time we can use to
train these soldiers. We can find something local to maximize our training

The guard has used other locations in Spokane for their trainings including
the Spokane Police Academy, Fairchild Air Force Base and Riverside State Park.
Their most recent outing at the airsoft store was a first for the group and it
was designed to help them practice the techniques they learned over a
presentation and put the skills to use.

The realistic experience means crawling on the carpeted floor of the store
with opposing forces waiting for them. Some of them hide behind stacks of tires
or just around the corner of a plywood wall. Volunteers and store employees
participated in the training as the opposing force to give the recruits a
realistic scenario to work with.

Training outside a military facility is not an economical tactic says Sfc.
Whitacre. He describes the guard more as of a community organization compared
to the other branches of military. They like to source things out to the
community. The co-owners of Spokane Airsoft (one being a KXLY Broadcast
Group employee) have been contributing to their trainings for about five
years. They also invite the recruits to a 46-acre property near Reardan for an
outdoor experience.

The sustainment program helps the recruits during their transition from
civilian to soldier. After basic, it’s time for the individual job training to
help them go into a variety of careers from medical and administrative.
As a standing militia, the guard is designed to keep their soldiers local in
case the state finds a need for their assistance like natural disasters.
Basically, Sfc. Whitacre said, they’re the home team.

“There was flooding in the Centralia area over the winter. Obviously forest fires
are pretty much every summer. Sometimes we had some calls out to other states
to help,” Sfc. Whitacre said. “Hurricane Katrina is another good example. It
was so devastating, the guard there was unable to handle the whole thing. It
was too ginormous of a disaster so they called on many states to help out with

The recruits are not at that stage yet, but eventually they will be. Most of
the recruits range from ages 17 to 21 and some of them are still waiting for
their uniforms to come in. In the meantime, they train.

“Using airsoft allows them to have realistic training. They’ll be ahead of
the game,” Sfc. Whitacre continued.

Submitted by
Nicole Hensley, Web Producer
Friday, July 27th, 2012, 5:39pm

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Police: Man shoots at cars, people with airsoft rifle

A Franklin man who police say drove around town Sunday
evening and shot at people and cars with his new airsoft rifles was ordered
held pending a hearing Thursday to determine if he is a danger to the

Scott Haigh, of 685 Pond St., told Franklin police he was
testing two new airsoft guns, which fire plastic airsoft pellets and typically
have an orange or red cap on the barrel, by shooting at street signs.
But according to authorities, as he drove through Franklin
and Bellingham in a brown Chevy van, Haigh, 39, shot an 11-year-old boy in the hand,
as well as at two vehicles.

No one was seriously injured, police said.
At about 6 p.m. on Sunday, police said someone fired at a
vehicle carrying two people that was traveling south on Pond Street. A man and
his son told police they saw someone pointing an airsoft gun at them as they
drove by.

They heard something hit their vehicle, and the son told his
father "that guy just shot at them," police said.
The men and his son told police they had seen a brown van
parked near Donato Drive on the southbound side of the road. But police were
not able to locate a vehicle matching the witnesses' description.

Later, at about 7 p.m., a woman reported that someone drove
by her Pond Street home and shot her grandson him in the hand. She told police
the shot came from a black airsoft gun with a red tip fired from a brown or tan

Police had trouble finding the van so they asked one of the
men in the vehicle that had been fired at on Pond Street car to come with them
in a search.

As they searched on Pond Street, police said, a woman
flagged down the cruiser and said someone in a van had pointed a airsoft gun at
her while she was driving.

Police eventually found the van at 685 Pond St. — Haigh’s

Haigh answered the door and told police he had just been
shooting at street signs, not at people. Police found two airsoft guns inside
identified as the ones used in the incidents.

In addition to a third airsoft gun, police found fireworks.

Police arrested Haigh and charged him with three counts of
assault with a deadly weapon (the airsoft guns), disorderly conduct, disturbing
the peace and unlawful possession of fireworks. Bellingham police said they did
not have any reports of people or cars being shot at.

Haigh pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday in
Wrentham District Court. Judge Emogene Johnson-Smith ordered Haigh held without
bail pending the results of a dangerousness hearing Thursday. Haigh's attorney,
Robert Costello, objected to the prosecutor's request to hold his client,
arguing he was not firing at people.

Airsoft guns are legal in the United States, but a federal
law requires the owners to have some kind of colored marking on the barrel.
Airsoft guns, like paintball guns, are not lethal, though the airsoft pellets
can cause bruising.

Matt Tota can be reached at 508-634-7521 or

Friday, June 29, 2012

2 men playing with fake guns wounded by real thing

The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Jun. 29, 2012 - 7:18 am

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego police say two men playing with phony guns were shot by attackers using the real thing.

A police statement says an 18-year-old man and his 20-year-old friend were wounded late Thursday night in an alley as they drank beer and played with airsoft rifles, which shoot plastic airsoft pellets.

Police say three men in dark clothes and hoodies emerged from a nearby canyon and opened fire. One victim was hit three times in the torso and thigh. The other man was shot once in the side.

They're expected to recover.

No arrests have been made and there's no word on a motive for the attack.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Former drive-in to be used as a simulated battlefield


SUTTON — If commuters driving south on Route 146 by the former Sutton Drive-In theater see people walking through the fields with (airsoft) weapons, there is no need to worry.

Beginning today, Citadel Airsoft, which has headquarters at 34 Suffolk St. in Worcester, will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday at what is dubbed “Citadel Flashpoint,” on the site of the former Sutton Drive-In, 100 Worcester-Providence Turnpike. The drive-in theater, which once showed adult movies then later offered family fare in the mid 1990s, has been unused for years. The approximately 9-acre parcel is owned by the Sutton Motor-In Trust of Worcester. Town Planner Jennifer S. Hager said the facility has the permits it needs to open.

Airsoft, according to Citadel Airsoft owner Matthew E. Pearson and general manager Brian G. Torsey, is a kinder-friendlier version of paintball. Airsoft features 6-millimeter biodegradable plastic airsoft BBs shot out of replica airsoft guns, such as AK-47s and AK-74s. They use electric–powered batteries or compressed gas.

Mr. Pearson said when a person is hit by one of the airsoft BBs they don’t get a bruise, which happens sometimes when someone is hit by a paintball.

“It looks like a little mosquito bite,” said Mr. Pearson, 40, a former Internet network architect.

“There’s enough force to know you’ve been hit,” he said.

Mr. Torsey, 50, said people who have been hit by the airsoft BBs sometimes look like they have chickenpox.

Citadel Airsoft opened in an old factory building at 34 Suffolk St. in 2009.

The first floor of the airsoft headquarters will stay open and be available for people scheduled to shoot in Sutton who are rained out. The headquarters contains a pro shop, where replica airsoft guns and other equipment are sold. The first floor also features a television monitor, where people who are not participating in Airsoft wars on the second floor can watch the action.

The second floor of the 40,000-square-foot building is a maze of small houses and cars that can be used during Airsoft events.

Mr. Pearson and Mr. Torsey said safety is a top priority. Protective clothing, including head and eye protection, is required at both sites.

“The worst injury we’ve had is a lost tooth,” Mr. Pearson said, while adding that to his knowledge there has never been a fatal injury involving Airsoft.

Mr. Pearson lives in Uxbridge and has had his eye on the former drive-in site for years.

“I’ve always thought that would be a good spot for what we do,” he said.

Citadel Flashpoint has scheduled what Mr. Pearson called a soft opening today. The event is a simulated military training session that is discussed on the company’s website, The area is scheduled to open officially the weekend of June 30.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Brigitte Bowers: Birthday sleepover -- The pain is short-lived

Having a sleepover is a little like giving birth. While you are going through it, you swear there is nothing that could convince you to ever do it again, but once it's over the pain fades from your memory in degrees, until you're finally able to say, "I might consider trying that once more. It wasn't so bad." Why would parents -- who seem to be sane according to every standard measure of rational behavior -- invite 10 children to their house, all together at the same time, to eat cake, drink soda, toast marshmallows, and then stay the whole night? Clearly, there is no reasonable explanation for such a stunning lack of prudence.

My husband and I are particularly easy marks for the sleepover custom, having hosted 11 birthday sleepovers and many other impromptu all-night events in our home. This year, however, as we started to throw around ideas for our youngest son's birthday, my husband almost cried when I told him it would probably be a sleepover.

"No sleepovers this year, please," he begged. "Let's just have them for a few hours, some cake and ice cream and out the door."

"We can't do that," I countered. "His brother got a sleepover for every birthday for seven years."

"We were younger," my husband reminded me. "We had more energy."

"We have to," I said. "It's the only fair thing to do."

Our fate had been set in motion years ago, when our eldest son invited 12 8-year-old boys to come live with us for 18 Pepsi-infused hours. That was the year of the soda fight, which began in the playroom and proceeded gleefully throughout the house. It is hard to decide whether that was worse, though, than the year of the Airsoft gun party.

"Everyone is having Airsoft gun parties," our youngest said, and it appeared to be true, with the one exception that the other Airsoft gun parties in his crowd had been limited to one short afternoon. This one would involve 16 hours of 11-year-olds playing out their Mortal Kombat fantasies in our back yard.

I remember how that party began. I stood in the yard surrounded by boys carrying their [airsoft] guns and enumerated three rules.

"One: Aim below the face! Two: Wear your goggles! Three: No Airsoft guns in the house!"

They listened, somber and attentive.


"OK," they said. "Can we play now?"

I nodded.

"Let's kill Jacob!" one boy yelled.

"Where is he?" someone else asked.

"In the house," another shouted, and they were off, my rules no more substantial than dandelions in the wind.

I am still finding little yellow [airsoft] pellets under the beds, in the corners, clacking around in my vacuum cleaner. I often step on them in the middle of the night as I make my way to the bathroom.

The best thing about a sleepover is when the last child leaves. As my son's guests were vanishing after this year's fete, I could not help but reflect that there is no quiet as sweet as the one that settles on a home after a sleepover.

"Bye, Everett's Mom," the last boy said, no trace left of the child who only hours earlier had flooded my laundry room in an attempt to create an indoor slip 'n' slide. He slung his unused sleeping bag over his shoulder. "Thanks for inviting me."

"It's always a pleasure," I said, the pain already fading from my memory. I watched him as he stepped jauntily into the morning light, climbed into a car, and was spirited away.

The cats came out of hiding, peered around, and joined the household once again. The dogs, worn out from trying to keep up with the night's debauchery, sighed, padded to the living room, and began their daylong slumber.

My husband wandered in.

"They all gone?' he asked, a hopeful lilt in his voice.

"Yes," I said.

"Thank God. Let's not do that again," he said, collapsing on the couch.

"Oh, I don't know," I answered. It had been a rough night, but my house was still standing. "It wasn't that bad."

"You're right," he decided. And then we just sat for a long time, enjoying the silence.