(RightWing.org) – School officials, students, and community members remain on high alert in the wake of the recent spate of school shootings. A civilian’s keen eye may very well have averted a major tragedy at a Virginia preschool the day before the first anniversary of the Uvalde, Texas, massacre that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.
On May 24, the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) posted a two-part Twitter thread announcing its confiscation of an AK-47 gas-operated assault rifle from a man who was trespassing on the grounds of the Dolly Madison Preschool, located in McLean. The notice also advised that the man said he was “making his way to the CIA.” The agency’s headquarters is located about a mile from the school in Langley, an unincorporated community of Fairfax County.
The statement also advised that FCPD officers obtained a search warrant and found the assault rifle, a pistol, and ammunition in the suspect’s car. Officers subsequently arrested Eric Sandow, 32, and charged him with possessing a firearm on school grounds, a Class 6 felony punishable by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $2,500.
A photograph accompanying the tweets showed the AK-47 on a table next to an automatic-style pistol. The image also showed what appears to be five ammunition magazines for the assault rifle alongside a 50-round box and a zip lock bag of ammo for the weapon. Additionally, six clips for the handgun were displayed, along with two 50-round boxes of ammo and a zip-top bag containing six rounds.
FCPD Chief Kevin Davis spoke to local ABC affiliate WJLA-TV about the incident. He confirmed that Sandow, a resident of Gainesville, Florida, wasn’t “really known” to local Virginia or Florida law enforcement agencies. He said the suspect parked his car at the school and walked to the CIA headquarters’ front gate. Police officers detained him on his way back to his vehicle, and he “started rambling about having firearms in his car.”
School officials released a short press release advising that the suspect “requested access to the building… to use the restroom.” School staff denied the request, and he departed without further incident or having gained entry into the school building.
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