LANCASTER, OH: Many military leaders seemed like they knew this would happen. A armed man stepped up, volunteering to guard a U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting Center on Thursday. He fired a shot accidentally from his weapon just after noon, according to Lancaster police.
Christopher Reed, 28, thought he was doing a good deed to help protect the recruiters after five service members were killed in an attack at a recruiting center and Reserve station in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last week.
There’s been an uptick of people standing in front of recruiting centers with loaded weapons, even though the military has requested the citizens stand down and return home.
The Eagle Gazette obtained a police report, stating the “shooting occurred between 11:30 a.m. and 12:01 p.m. outside the recruiting office, 1534 River Valley Circle.”
Reed stated in an interview with the paper, “I was out here and was talking to a guy who wanted to look at my AR-15. “I was trying to clear the weapon and hand it over to him when it went off. I thought it was empty and must have missed it.”
The article also stated he was pointing the weapon at the ground when the shot was fired, and according to the police report, the only damage done was a hole in the pavement.
“Listen, it was a mistake. No one was injured and I owned up to it immediately with the police,” Reed said. “I’m glad no one was hurt. I am willing to take the punishment”, the newspaper reported.
The police report also said that Reed had said several people “were standing in the area, but they left prior to (the police officer’s) arrival and he doesn’t know who they were.”
Even though a shot had been fired, this didn’t deter volunteers from standing guard and many including Reed returned to the recruiting center, saying they would stay continue to do so until the military could arm themselves for protection.
The Gazette went onto state, “The police confiscated the AR-15 and issued Reed a citation for discharging a firearm in the city limits, which is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. He is scheduled to appear in Fairfield County Municipal Court on July 28. The police report indicated the police would keep his gun until he appears in municipal court.”