Flagstaff Police Department cars lined West Route 66 after reports that a man armed with a rifle wearing a bulletproof vest had entered The Standard student housing development Thursday evening.
After almost two hours of officers clearing each floor, officers arrested 25-year-old Kestin Gary, who was allegedly visiting friends, said Charles Hernandez, the FPD spokesman who was at the scene. Police found the reported rifle and ballistic vest, which is believed to be owned by Gary.
After locating and interviewing Gary, he was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, Hernandez said.
“He was very cooperative,” Hernandez told the Arizona Daily Sun. “He is not charged with any weapons related violations, but it did cause panic with the residents here and we are happy that the outcome of this incident was a peaceful and successful one.”
Some confused residents stood outside the building along Route 66 after police arrived, while others were asked to stay in their rooms by The Standard's management. Many residents stuck inside their rooms crowded onto balconies as they tried to find out what was going on.
After the man was arrested, residents were allowed to return to their rooms.
Given the increased awareness of large scale shooter situations across the country, Hernandez said at least 12 officers were sent to the scene as a show of force. Flagstaff police officers were joined by others from Northern Arizona University and United States Marshals, all carrying assault rifles.
Hernandez said The Standard has a no-firearms policy and because the man was a visitor, he caused a panic when staff and residents saw a stranger entering with a gun.
As the evening turned to night and the temperature dropped, residents were allowed to sit in the building’s lobby, but were not allowed to return to their rooms until the man was taken into custody.
The incident caused the closure of one lane on West Route 66 in the middle of rush hour.
Updated for correction at 1:25 p.m. on January 17.
Adrian Skabelund can be reached at the office at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (928) 556-2261 or on Twitter @AdrianSkabelund.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!