COLONIE – Reports of a man running near the Walmart store in Colonie with a rifle and pointing it at people led to his arrest in a “chaotic scene,” police said Wednesday.
Police took the individual into custody using minimal force, though multiple officers suffered minor injuries during the arrest, police said.
The incident began at about 12:20 p.m. as police received multiple 911 calls reporting a man with a rifle running near the Walmart at 800 Loudon Road, police said.
The callers reported the man had pointed the rifle at multiple people and attempted to steal the vehicles from at least two of the victims, police said.
The calls then led to a large response from the police department. Officers then quickly located the individual on Route 9, under the Latham Circle overpass, police said.
Officers then took him into custody after a brief struggle. The officers who were injured taking him into custody suffered scrapes and bruises, police said.
Police recovered the weapon at the scene. It turned out to be a Ruger pellet rifle that police determined had just been stolen from the Walmart prior to the incident, police said.
The suspect was taken to Albany Medical Center for a physical and mental evaluation. The man, however, did not appear to be injured.
Police expected to formally charge him upon his release from the hospital.
No one else was injured in the incident, police said.
“The multiple Officers from the Colonie Police Department who responded to this incident and located the individual showed tremendous restraint, being able to safely detain this individual using minimal force, in a chaotic scene where the use of deadly physical force would have been justified,” police said in a release. “Officers remained calm and used rapidly developing information from witnesses to make split-second decisions, ultimately resulting in a successful outcome.”
The Walmart was temporarily placed on lockdown by their security personnel. The lockdown was lifted shortly after the man was arrested, police said.
Anyone who was a victim in the incident but has not spoken with police is asked to contact investigators at 518-783-2754.