Lamorinda police – with a California Highway Patrol Helicopter orbiting overhead – searched a Moraga hillside above Ashbrook Place for a man with a gun Tuesday and found him – but the gun he was carrying turned out to be a realistic-looking Airsoft version.
Acting Police Chief Jon King said his department received a call of a man with a rifle on the hillside above Ashbrook at 1:13 p.m. Lamorinda police dispatched to the call observed two “college age” people on the hillside, one of them holding a gun. Both were detained at gunpoint and a close examination of the “rifle” – a bolt-action replica with scope and bipod – was made.
“The two subjects, one of whom lives in the area, were playing and shooting at targets on the hillside,” King said. “They had no idea of the potential implications of their actions. They were counseled and released at the scene.”
On a day where many people are understandably edgy about people walking around with firearms, local police took a moment to remind owners of the dangers replica firearms can present.
“In this case, an alert neighbor observed what was occurred and believed that the subject was holding a real gun as did the officers who detained the subjects at gunpoint. If you have airsoft guns, please use caution in how and where you use them. Please also be aware that while the person holding the airsoft gun knows that it isn’t a real firearm, others often think it is a real gun and react accordingly,” King said.