Just after 5 p.m., Eugene Police were called by an alert community member who spotted a man holding and manipulating what appeared to be a rifle outside his car near the Valley River Center shopping mall. The caller provided a good description of the man, the car he was near, and his clothing. Multiple uniformed and plainclothes officers saturated the area and quickly located the man to observe his behavior. The police officers safely contacted the man, who initially appeared somewhat disoriented and fidgety. It was found that the rifle was in fact a BB gun, and that the man had not pointed it at anyone in particular. Officers pivoted to investigate whether the man had operated his car under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and determined he was not likely impaired. The man was released with a warning about his actions, and how they could be perceived at a busy shopping mall. While the incident did not result in an actual threat to the public, we are thankful for the alert observer who contacted police, and did exactly what we hope others would do under similar circumstances.
If you see something, say something.