A heavily armed man with incendiary devices was arrested near the University of Washington in Seattle, campus police said at a press conference Thursday.
At 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, patrol officers with the University of Washington Police Department observed a pickup truck on campus that was reported stolen from a residence in Butte, Mont. A high-risk traffic stop was conducted in the 3400 block of Sand Point Way NE,” and the driver, a 21-year-old Nevada man, was arrested without incident and booked into the King County Jail.
A search of the vehicle uncovered a stolen scoped rifle, stolen shotgun, body armor and as many as ten Molotov cocktails.
“We don’t have any information that would suggest any type of attack,” said UW Police Chief John Vinson. “But again, this is an active, ongoing investigation where we are exploring all leads at this point.”
Vinson said the guns and the vehicle were stolen from the same home in Butte and that the suspect knew the resident.
He also revealed that the suspect had been contacted by his officers a day prior to the arrest while sleeping in the stolen vehicle near campus. Vinson said the vehicle was not reported stolen until Wednesday morning and officers had no reason to detain the man at the time.
Campus police contacted the FBI and the Seattle Police Department for assistance in the investigation after the weapons and explosives were discovered.
Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel reassured the public that various Fourth of July events around the city were safe, including a fireworks show at nearby Gas Works Park.
“I feel very, very confident that it is going to be a safe event – there and everywhere else in Puget Sound,” he said.
A spokesperson for the mayor’s office said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn had been briefed on the situation and would attend the Gas Works event with his family as planned.