GEORGE, WA – Thanks to the quick action of concertgoers and security at the Gorge Amphitheater, police believed a potential mass shooting incident was stopped.
According to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, a man was observed acting suspiciously outside the amphitheater (which was hosting the Bass Canyon three-day electronic dance music event) around 9:00 pm on Friday night was reported by attendees to security, who in turn called the police, which resulted in the man being taken into custody without incident.
Witnesses said that they became suspicious when they saw the man, later identified as 31-year-old Jonathan R Moody, appear to inhale some type of substance from a balloon. He then loaded two handguns out of the trunk of his vehicle, placing one in his rear waistband concealed and one in a holster on the outside of his pants.
Moody then started asking attendees what time the show was over as well as from which direction they would be exiting the venue. Those attendees sought out security, who located and talked with Moody. They were able to disarm him of the two loaded 9mm pistols he was carrying and keep Moody out of the venue.
Security called the police to the scene, who took Moody into custody after investigation and after taking all the factors into account, such as his possession of the loaded firearm after inhaling some kind of substance and his concerning comments regarding the egress of attendees. Moody was charged with one count of possession of a dangerous weapon and one count of unlawful carrying or handling of a weapon and taken to the Grant County Jail.
Friday’s show at the amphitheater was sold out, which means there were at least 25,000 people in attendance. Moody is reportedly from Ephrata, Washington, which is about 23 miles away from the amphitheater in question.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, “Remember: if you see something, say something. Citizens saw something completely out of place for the circumstances and notified security, who in turn notified deputies. That combination of situational awareness, along with noticing ‘something does not fit’ resulted in a possible tragedy being prevented. The Sheriff’s Office says thank you to the concertgoers who reported this man and to venue security for keeping the man from getting inside the concert venue.”
The Bass Canyon group also released a statement claiming that Moody was not attempting to enter the venue, which may or may not be true. “Bass Canyon Fam,” the group said on Twitter, “Last night, a pistol-carrying local man was arrested after reportedly being seen outside the venue at the Day Parking lot. He did not have a festival wristband and was not attempting to enter the festival.
“Safety is our top priority. Thank you to the fans who reported him and the venue security and sheriff’s department for handling the situation. Always look out for each other, stay safe, and remember, if you see something, say something.”
This piece was written by Leah Anaya on August 22, 2022. It originally appeared on RedVoiceMedia.com and is used with permission.
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