'Discomfort' from handgun leads to Dimond theater's evacuation
Reports of a man with a gun led Anchorage police to stop an animated movie at Anchorage’s Dimond Center Mall – but the incident turned out to be a man holding a concealed weapon which was “digging into his hip.”
APD spokeswoman Kendra Doshier said officers were called to the Regal Dimond Center 9 cinema at about 11 p.m. during a showing of Pixar’s superhero sequel “Incredibles 2.” Nobody was hurt during the encounter, but police didn’t have an immediate count on how many people were present.
“It was a fairly full theater,” Doshier said.
According to a police statement, the initial report said the man had a handgun at the back of the theater. One witness said he had racked the weapon’s slide.
“Officers immediately made entry and contacted the suspect and found the pistol under his thigh,” police wrote. “Officers secured the firearm and escorted the subject out of the theater.”
After evacuating the theater, police spoke with the man.
“The preliminary investigation found that the adult male was concealed carrying and his weapon was causing him physical discomfort from digging into his hip, so he removed it for some relief,” police wrote. “He was not making verbal or physical threats towards anyone in the theater, and he did not point the gun at anyone.”
After further investigation and consultation with Anchorage District Attorney Rick Allen’s office, no probable cause was found for criminal charges in the incident.
Assistant District Attorney Megan Rodgers says the woman who reported hearing the cock of the gun left the theater and wasn't available to provide police a statement; no one else in the theater was able to corroborate her story.
"It's Alaska. Everyone has guns," Rodgers said. "He didn't point the gun at anyone... what he did wasn't illegal."
Rodgers further explained that the man wouldn't be charged with trespassing because he'd need to be told to leave and then not leave or return.
Doshier said the man was “cooperative” in explaining the situation to officers. The police call wasn’t the end of the night for the crowd.
“They were able to rewind the film to a point a few minutes before the incident took place and replay it for theatergoers,” Doshier said.
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