Man with guns, armor and Molotov cocktails arrested in Seattle

University of Washington Police Chief John Vinson, second from left, discusses the arrest.
(Alan Berner / Seattle Times)

A man inside a stolen truck had guns, body armor and Molotov cocktails when police arrested him in Seattle on Wednesday night, officials said Thursday.

The identity of the 21-year-old Nevada man was not released, and officials said they didn’t know why he was at the University of Washington, where he was discovered.

University police first encountered the man sleeping in the truck at the campus in Seattle on Tuesday evening, university police Chief John Vinson said in a Thursday news conference.

Vinson described the contact as a “noncriminal” encounter; police left after questioning the man, who had no outstanding warrants.


The next morning, however, officials got an alert that the truck had been stolen from Montana on Monday, and when police returned to the site where the man had been sleeping, he and the truck were gone.

At 10:30 p.m. that night, university police spotted the truck on campus again. Police took the man into custody on suspicion of stealing the truck. After searching the vehicle, officers discovered a cache of weaponry, Vinson said.

Police found a stolen scoped rifle, a stolen shotgun, body armor and “multiple” Molotov cocktails, Vinson said.

“We don’t know why he’s in the University of Washington area,” Vinson said, adding: “We have no idea what his intentions are. … We’re trying to rule out everything at this point.”

Seattle police and the FBI were assisting with the investigation.


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