(WESTLAKE, Ohio) — An off-duty police officer from Westlake, Ohio, is being credited for stopping what possibly had the makings of another Aurora, Colo., movie theater-style shooting spree.
The cop noticed that a man who was sitting in the back of one of the theaters at the Regal Cinemas at Crocker Park before last Saturday night’s showing of The Dark Knight Rises had brought in a large satchel.
Westlake Police Lt. Ray Arcuri said that when the officer asked Scott Smith to open his bag, he discovered a loaded 9mm Glock handgun, multiple loaded magazines and three knives.
The cop, who was hired by the theater to provide extra security in the wake of the Aurora shootings, arrested Smith, who was later charged with one felony count of carrying a concealed weapon and one felony count of having weapons under disability because of prescription medications found at the suspect’s home. In addition, Smith was charged with four misdemeanor counts of carrying various weapons.
Besides the prescriptions, authorities say Smith also had more weapons at home, including six to eight pistols, rifles, shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Police don’t have a motive yet for Smith’s actions. Arcuri said Smith told investigators that he was unemployed and had been in the military, although they haven’t confirmed whether he ever served in the armed forces.
Later, Smith’s attorney claimed that the entire incident was a misunderstanding because his client was merely trying to protect himself in case someone else decided to attack moviegoers.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eric Bradner, Dana Bash and MJ Lee, CNN
Farida Fawzy, CNN
Jeffrey Acevedo, CNN