LPD: People in car with paintball guns, explosive ‘posed a threat’ to protesters, law enforcement
Officers responding to a call about gunshots being fired ultimately arrested three people who police say "posed a threat" to protesters and other people gathered together Monday night.
Officers responding to a call about gunshots being fired ultimately arrested three people who police say “posed a threat” to protesters and other people gathered together Monday night.
Lincoln police officers responded around 7:36 p.m. to the 2600 block of Jacquelyn Drive on reports of shots fired. They contacted a 77-year-old man and 71-year-old woman, as well as a vehicle with four people inside.
Officers reportedly found two paintball guns, paint balls, paintball equipment, a modified explosive device involving fireworks and a fuse, as well as assorted drugs in the vehicle. Officers determined the reported gun shots were actually the occupants of the vehicle firing their paintball guns, police said.
The group told officers they had been at the demonstration downtown and were headed back to the area, police said. Believing the group posed a threat to those gathered, officers arrested three of the occupants and released the fourth – a 15-year-old girl – to a guardian.
The driver, identified by police as 21-year-old Marcos Villela, and two passengers, identified as 18-year-old Byron Green and 20-year-old Abby Tucker Williams, were arrested on numerous charges including drug possession and possession of a destructive device.
Investigators are following up to determine if the group was responsible for crimes committed during previous protests or riots.
“We know that the vast majority of people out there are demonstrating peacefully,” Officer Luke Bonkiewicz said, adding that LPD knows there is a small contingent of people “out there to cause chaos, out there to break the law” and to harm others.
LPD will continue to follow-up on this investigation to see if these individuals are responsible for crimes committed during the demonstrations on previous nights.