GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Police Department on Monday, November 29, released information about last week's incident at Holiday Village Mall.
The GFPD said that a man tried to return an Airsoft gun at Scheels, but was "denied" by staff.
The man went outside the store and began loading the gun. A witness informed store staff, who then contacted the police.
The man left the scene before officers arrived.
The GFPD does not believe the man posed a threat to the public.
Airsoft guns are designed to look very similar to real firearms, and but they use non-metallic spherical projectiles often referred to as "BBs", which are often made of plastic or biodegradable resin materials.
The website for AirsoftGI says: "Airsoft is a team sport where players compete against each other while using airsoft guns. The sport is very similar to paintball with the exception being that each player uses an airsoft gun that shoots bbs in the place of paintballs. The bbs do not leave any visible marks on the players making it easier to maintain their airsoft gear and clothing."
(NOVEMBER 26, 2021) There was a rather large police presence outside of Holiday Village Mall in Great Falls on Friday afternoon.
Several Great Falls police officers were patrolling the area outside of Scheels at about 1:30 p.m.
A witness told KRTV that some of the officers were brandishing weapons.
For a brief time, people were prevented from entering Scheels.
A game warden from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Park also responded to the scene.
There have been no indications at this point of any imminent threat or danger.
There is no word at this point on whether anyone was arrested.
As of 2:15 p.m., all officers have cleared the scene.
We are waiting for the Great Falls Police Department to provide details about what sparked the incident, and will update this article if we get more information.