Tragedy Averted, Man With AR-15 Disarmed at Bar

What could have quickly turned into yet another mass shooting at a public place considering the weapon and the mix of alcohol instead turned into a tale of heroism and crisis averted

A bar employee, an off-duty San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy and several patrons wrestled an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and a loaded 30-round magazine from a drunk man at the entrance of a bar in downtown Redlands, California, early Sunday morning to help avoid what might have turned into a tragedy, authorities said.

Eventually, police arrived and arrested 36-year-old Gilbert Manuel Arellano III on a charge of attempted assault with a deadly weapon.

Arellano was reportedly already drinking at a birthday party on Saturday night before going to a bar on East Citrus Avenue, where he continued to drink alcoholic beverages into early Sunday morning, according to a news release from the Redlands Police Department.

At the bar, Arellano got into an altercation with other unidentified patrons before going home to grab the high-powered weapon, according to police.

Arellano allegedly confronted three people in a parking lot and pointed the gun at one of them in a threatening manner before walking towards the entrance of the bar "holding the rifle in plain sight," according to the news release.

But an employee from a business that shares an entrance with the bar stopped the suspect and attempted to take the rifle away from him. Then, an off-duty San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy learned there was an armed man in the building and came to assist with other customers.

The deputy disarmed Arellano before restraining him and waiting for officers with the Redlands Police Department to arrive. In addition, police said he had other weapons registered despite being barred from possessing guns under a court order, so police served a search warrant at Arellano's home to confiscate them.

Jail records show Arellano was released from custody Sunday afternoon. Details regarding an initial court date were not immediately available. NBC4 is attempting to determine whether he has obtained an attorney.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the suspect entered the bar and that the bar employee and police officer alone restrained the suspect. The Redlands Police Department issued a correction to their earlier press release and stated that other customers also helped in restraining and disarming the suspect. The article has been updated to reflect this change.

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