Authorities detained the 17 Middle Eastern men – then released them!
According to the victim/witness, there were two groups of men, about 15 per group, armed with heavy weapons, who began shouting “Allah u Akbar” and started firing. The firing allegedly lasted upwards of TWO HOURS before police were able to find callers in the vast California parkland.
Photos taken by one of the victims of the attack have been supplied to SuperStation95 as have screen shots of MMS messages sent/received during the incident, and are VIEWABLE HERE.
Update: Police scanner audio of incident AVAILABLE HERE.
APPLE VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — Federal and local law enforcement authorities Tuesday are investigating after 17 men were detained for reportedly firing off hundreds of rounds in a remote part of Apple Valley.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies and an FBI agent were among the units that detained the men – reportedly all of Middle Eastern descent – who were camping out in the Deep Creek Hot Springs area Sunday morning, authorities said.
A 911 caller reported hearing over 100 shots fired and seeing five to seven men wearing turbans and shooting “assault rifles, handguns, and shotguns,” according to a Sheriff’s Department statement.
A county sheriff’s helicopter located the men walking near a creek with backpacks “and other items”, The Los Angeles Times reported. Officials say the men were cooperative as they were detained and searched.
Several handguns, a rifle, and a shotgun were found at the scene, but a records check found all the weapons were registered with the exception of the rifle, which reportedly didn’t have a serial number because it was purchased in parts, an FBI spokesperson told The Times.
Police scanner traffic posted online by the Victor Valley News Group described “a large group of subjects wearing turbans and chanting” at the scene. “They were up all night chanting ‘Allah akbar’-type stuff,” an unidentified officer is heard saying on the audio recording.
None of the hikers interviewed by Sheriff’s investigators say they witnessed any shots being fired, according to Sheriff’s officials. A photo of the arrests showing several men handcuffed at the scene was posted by the Victor Valley News Group but was not immediately confirmed by authorities.
All 17 men were eventually released because Sheriff’s investigators say they had no outstanding warrants or criminal histories. “There was no evidence found that a crime had been committed by any of the subjects who were detained and they were released,” a Sheriff’s spokesperson said.
The FBI may conduct further interviews with the men to determine if any crimes were committed.
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