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Assault Rifle Discovery Leads to Evacuation [Updated]

The incident occurred Thursday morning in the 400 block of North Broadway.

FILE PHOTO: Redondo Beach Police Department cruiser. Photo credit Nicole Mooradian.
FILE PHOTO: Redondo Beach Police Department cruiser. Photo credit Nicole Mooradian.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional comments and clarifications from Redondo Beach Police Department spokesman Sgt. Shawn Freeman.

An assault rifle that caused the evacuation of several homes in South Redondo Beach on Thursday morning belonged to a member of a federal law enforcement agency under the Homeland Security umbrella, according to a spokesman for the Redondo Beach Police Department.

Police evacuated multiple residences in the 400 block of North Broadway after a neighbor inadvertently brought home the government-issued assault rifle, said Sgt. Shawn Freeman.

The resident found a case that looked like a carrying case for a musical instrument in the open area near Broadway and Vincent Street, and brought it home to the 400 block of North Broadway to open it, Sgt. Edward Jackson told Patch.

"When they opened it up, it had an assault rifle in it," Jackson said.

Police received a call about the rifle at 8:12 a.m., according to Freeman. 

Because police didn't know if explosives were also in the unusual carrying case, officers evacuated surrounding residences as a precaution and called the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad, Freeman said. 

The bomb squad ultimately determined that the package was exactly what it appeared to be once it was opened: a rifle in a case, Jackson said.

Police confiscated the rifle, and traced its owner, Freeman said. Investigators will determine if the rifle was accidentally left out or if it was stolen from a vehicle once they've interviewed the owner.

The resident who found the gun will not face charges, Jackson said.

Charles E. Nichols January 23, 2014 at 07:21 PM
"The bomb squad ultimately determined that the package was exactly what it appeared to be: a rifle in a case..." Morons, f*cking Barney Fife morons.
Dr. Jose Mariachi January 24, 2014 at 06:43 AM
Police evacuated multiple residences in the 400 block of North Broadway after a neighbor inadvertently brought home the government-issued assault rifle, said Sgt. Shawn Freeman. So naturally police assumed if there's an "assault rifle" in there there must be explosives, too, since they go together. The rifle was "government -issued" who was the "government" employee that left the rifle sitting out in the open? When is he going to be fired?
Just Tim January 24, 2014 at 12:03 PM
For clarity, what exactly is a "Assault Rifle". I know what the current urban myth for the terminology is and who the person is that created that urban myth. The questions I have is, what exactly constitutes a government issued "Assault Rifle" and what makes them different than the urban myth version?
Nimby 90277 January 24, 2014 at 03:35 PM
Umm...the 400 block of N Broadway IS Redondo Beach PD, LOL!! I guess for Torrance PD (and LAPD for that matter) gun control is knowing your target BEFORE you pull the trigger. For RBPD and their visitors, gun control is knowing where you left your gun. Oh yeah, an assault rifle is a .30 cal gun that shoots 30 rounds in 1/2 second. And its a very evil color of black. At least that what those politicians who endeavor to save us from ourselves want us to believe. An assault bat is any baseball bat used to hurt someone, not to be confused with a regular baseball bat. An assault car is a car used to intentionally run someone over. Even if its driver is mentally impaired. Not to be confused with just any old car.
BHirsh January 25, 2014 at 12:28 PM
OH MY GOD! An ASSAULT WEAPON! Everybody stand back, it may EXPLODE! Or even, jump up out of the case and start SHOOTING people! OMIGOD!!!
Brent Garvey January 25, 2014 at 01:06 PM
It was probably left there on purpose for a shooter to pick up once Obama spun the 'wheel of programmed crazies' to choose which crazy to activate with his phone
DGaf 90277 January 25, 2014 at 01:34 PM
I was the person who actually found the weapon. I was taking my son to school and noticed what I thought was a music case sitting next to a parking spot on Vincent between Broadway and PCH. I had my 12 year old son jump out to grab it. When he got back in the car we opened the case to look for a phone number so we could return the instrument and discovered that it was actually a machine gun (later identified as a government issue Colt AR15, fully automatic w/ a loaded 30 round clip in the weapon). Not only that, but the case was ticking while we had it open! The car behind me started honking so we quickly closed the case and pulled over once we crossed PCH. I didn't know what to do so I took the weapon home to my husband who knows more about weapons. I was beyond scared about the ticking, but the fact that it stopped when we closed the case made me think the device was either a fake or was deactivated. My husband took a picture of the weapon in the case and then we flagged down a passing Redondo Police vehicle and relayed the information and the photo. Police showed up, one by one. They took a look at the photo and looked at the case sitting on our table in the back yard. Not wanting to open it, they called the LA Bomb Squad. Some of the officers said they thought the weapon was going to turn out to be a fake or an airsoft gun. Two of the officers asked me to show them where I found the weapon and drove me to the location. The bomb squad found a greeting card device that was cut out and rigged under the weapon to tick whenever the case was opened. One of the officers took my name and phone number. I haven't heard anything from the department since. As a citizen and a parent, I am EXTREMELY CONCERNED that this weapon was loaded and left out in the open. A child or criminal could have found this weapon before I did. And what was that weapon doing there in the first place?!?! I intend on following up with the RBPD to find out what the outcome is. With all of the school shootings happening, and the location of this loaded weapon, I would think this would be a more concerning issue.
Just Tim January 25, 2014 at 02:50 PM
DGaf90277, you did the right thing turning the gun over to the police. If, in fact a policeman told you it was an "AR-15" then it is not a fully automatic weapon or is it able to be converted into one. If in fact it was a fully automatic weapon, it should have been called an M4 or one of it's variants A "Machine Gun" is a completely different animal altogether. One of the largest, if not the largest problems with guns is hysteria, if we all learn what they are and how to safely handle them, then we can get to common sense discussions of guns and their uses.
Nimby 90277 January 25, 2014 at 05:34 PM
DGaf, I would've called the police, too, just as 100% of responsible gun owners would've done the same. You would be committing a crime if you had not. That said, its only a weapon when its used to harm people. Otherwise its just a plain ole rifle, just like the .22's we used to shoot in the Boy Scouts / Indian Guides / summer camps, just as a baseball bat or hammer isn't a weapon unless used to harm people. Like Just Tim say's, the anti-gun hysteria is thick and blinding, and the politicians lay it on with really bad lies and absurd laws to look like they're actually doing something productive to save us from mentally ill people while ignoring our declining schools, disappearing jobs, corporate welfare, etc. I'm not a Colt expert, but I believe the M4 model is the designation for the mid-length 16" barrel product w/collapsible stock. Military uses full-auto, while civilian semi-auto (gotta pull the trigger for each shot) is available for sale, detuned, to the tax payers like you and me. The AR-15 is, I believe, the semi-auto version of the M16, which is the military rifle that is full-auto (aka "machine" gun). Longer barrel, full buttstock, like the ones you see on old Vietnam movies. Loaded magazine actually stored in the rifles magwell is a HUGE no-no, but of course any responsible civilian gun owner would know that.
DGaf 90277 January 25, 2014 at 05:57 PM
Nimby 90277, I wish I could post a photo here. I am not "anti-gun", per se. I am a mother who has had negative experience with weapons and they scare me. I understand that it should not be a crime to own a gun, but don't like them around me or my family, and find myself being concerned that legally owned guns might be stolen by criminals and used to hurt people. Some of my immediate family members do not agree, ironically. I appreciate the information you have provided, but it doesn't change my mind about how I feel. You have your definition of a weapon, I have mine. My biggest issue with this incident is the mystery behind where I found the weapon and why. The proximity of so many schools and churches, and the fact that it was loaded and ready to go gives me a sick feeling that someone planned to use it and maybe changed their mind. I don't know if the registered owner has mental issues, was just being careless, or didn't notice/report that the weapon had been stolen. Either way, this is not ok.
Kevin Lord January 25, 2014 at 11:05 PM
How do you know it was loaded? A rifle having a magazine inserted in it doesn't mean its loaded. Did you release the magazine and actually look? No. The ticking is probably the owners way of deterring crazys like from stealing it. Its just a rifle people. And how the hell could you tell that it was fully automaticby opening the case. Knowledge is the key. Educate yourselves.
Kevin Lord January 25, 2014 at 11:08 PM
More people die from stabbing than gunshots. Are you afraid to walk into your kitchen? Fear of the unknown doesnt excuse you for being uneducated on rifles. Go buy a rifle and go to a range. I promise you that you'll love it.
Kevin Lord January 25, 2014 at 11:12 PM
It is a common practice to insert an empty magazine to keep dust and debri from getting into the magazine well while rifle is not in use.
Ron McClellan January 26, 2014 at 01:14 AM
Hey DG, I can understand your concerns, but really negative experiences you may have had are actually less about the firearm and more about whoever was handling them during your negative experience. Most of us have had negative experiences with other things too, from cars to electric hedge trimmers. But one thing I have to wonder about, is if you thought it was a bomb ticking . . . why didn't you . . .well . . .get the heck away from it immediately? Driving home with it, taking pictures of it and such . . . if that had been a bomb, you could well have killed yourselves. Regardless, I appreciate you stating you'll keep us informed, as to how that firearm came to be where it was, very curious indeed.
Ron McClellan January 26, 2014 at 01:26 AM
Bad guys do steal guns, by the way, but that's actually why it's good to have one, preferably on your person, and most certainly in your home.
Nicole Mooradian (Editor) January 26, 2014 at 11:00 AM
DGaf, you can send the photo to redondobeach@patch.com, and I'll include it with a follow-up post.
Keith January 26, 2014 at 11:43 AM
DGaf 90277 January 26, 2014 at 02:54 PM
I have provided photos and more info to the editor. She can provide the information to you. Kevin Lord, I have been to a range with a rifle owned by a close family member. I didn't like it. Never will. Ron McClellan, If you read my comments I posted you will see what I said about the ticking. To be honest, none of it seemed real at the time. In hindsight, I would have done many things differently.
DGaf 90277 January 26, 2014 at 05:30 PM
While you all have been busy trying to "educate" me, you have missed the point entirely. The point is... WHY WAS THIS WEAPON ON THE STREET? And... WHAT IS BEING DONE ABOUT IT?
Nicole Mooradian (Editor) January 27, 2014 at 06:04 PM
See photos here: http://redondobeach.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/photos-governmentissued-assault-rifle-found-in-redondo-beach I'm checking with police to see if they have more info for a follow-up story.
Liz Champlain January 27, 2014 at 08:39 PM
"One of the largest, if not the largest problems with guns is hysteria". No--the largest problems are toothless gun laws, gutless politicians, and the NRA.
Ali Al-Nasser January 27, 2014 at 10:49 PM
Perhaps the weapon was stolen and not let behind by the Federal officer/agent.
Thaddeus Q Abernathy January 28, 2014 at 06:01 PM
Maybe the Department of Homeland Security was going to shoot up a school? You might have saved a lot of lives.
Kelly Sarkisian January 28, 2014 at 11:41 PM
I wonder if Charles Nichols has eating his words? So quick to judge...so over zealous. So hard to take seriously!!!
Nicole Mooradian (Editor) January 29, 2014 at 03:14 AM
Latest story: http://redondobeach.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/owner-inadvertently-left-ar15-on-street-police
Jakob Stagg January 30, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Fear mongering. Nothing promotes control like fear.


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