PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Grant County Sheriff’s Office in Washington believes its deputies stopped a man from carrying out plans to commit a mass shooting at the Gorge Amphitheater Friday night.
The sheriff’s office said people at the event and security personnel notified them at around 9 p.m. of a man in the parking lot.
Witnesses saw the man inhale an unknown substance or gas from a balloon and then load two 9mm pistols from the trunk of his car.
The man hid one gun in the waistband of his pants and the other in a holster that was outside his waistband, witnesses told investigators. The suspect then approached concertgoers and asked what time the concert ended and where they would be leaving the venue.
The person with the guns was identified as 31-year-old Jonathan R. Moody of Ephrata, Wash.
The sheriff’s office said Moody never made it inside the venue. Security stopped him outside the gates and disarmed him of his two pistols.
After investigating, deputies arrested Moody on suspicion of one count of possession of a dangerous weapon and one count of unlawful carrying or handling of a weapon. Moody was lodged in the Grant County Jail.
The event going on at the Gorge Amphitheater at the time was the concert series Bass Canyon, and electronic dance music festival. The concert was sold out, meaning there were upwards of 25,000 people attending.
The Gorge Amphitheater does not allow weapons on site.
The sheriff’s office said Moody was arrested for several factors, including the fact that he appeared to inhale an intoxicant, load weapons in the parking lot, and asked where concertgoers would be leaving and at what time. Moody did not make any statements to deputies.
The sheriff’s office said no one was injured. They said this is a reminder for everyone to say something if they see something suspicious.
“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 Grant County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a news release.
The sheriff’s office thanks the concertgoers who reported the incident and venue security for keeping him from getting inside the concert venue.