Misunderstanding Leads to Gun Scare in Downtown Midland
Staff Report
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Midland Police are calling it bad judgment.

A man showing off his assault rifle sparked a major shutdown in downtown Midland.

It was so bad, they blocked off streets and called in the SWAT team.

It turns out the gun scare was just a misunderstanding, but it sure did cause a big mess downtown.

Police blocked off the streets and brought in the SWAT team with their guns drawn.

It all started when police got a call just before six about a man with a gun in the Wall Towers East Building.

That sent officers into overdrive.

People who worked downtown were told to lock their doors and stay inside.

The scare was sparked when a man saw another man getting out of an elevator with an AR-15 assault rifle with a scope.

Police and SWAT negotiators were all on the scene near Loraine and Wall Street for a little over an hour.

After putting two men in handcuffs and questioning them, police realized the man with the weapon was taking the gun up to the fourth flour of the building to show it off to a friend who worked there.

Officers say even though is was a misunderstanding, they took all the proper precautions to make sure no one would get hurt.

"Worse case scenario is that somebody starts shooting from an angle of elevation because they've got the advantage over our people that are on the ground and a building that size is also a hard thing to tackle for our tactical people but they are well trained and they know what they are doing, so everything went according to the way we train," Sgt. David Garcia, with the Midland Police Department, explained.

"When I walked out I waited a few minutes because I assumed that they would be telling everyone just to stay in the building with all their guns drawn. Literally, they were running down the street with guns drawn," Jason Moore, who works in downtown, explained.

Officers confiscated three rifles from the office, from one of the detained men, who also leases at the wall towers east.

After questioning the two men, detectives let them both go saying they were just using bad judgment.

As it turns out, the rifle the man was carrying into the building was not loaded.