By Brett Gillin
Police departments throughout the United States are on high alert after a man walked into a police station with a loaded gun. The man claims that a gang ordered him into the building in order to test the security levels within the police station. While the man was quickly arrested, the act has understandably put police departments throughout the nation on alert for similar acts.
Jason Armstrong, a 29-year-old Baltimore Maryland native, allegedly entered the Baltimore Police Department carrying a .22-caliber handgun. Police quickly realized something was amiss with Armstrong, as they claim he was acting strangely. Officers approached him moments after noticing him walking through the building. According to CNN, when the officers searched Armstrong, they found not only the handgun, but also cocaine and marijuana.
Armstrong claims that the Black Guerilla Family, a notorious street gang in the Baltimore area, ordered him to walk into the police station with the gun. Their motivation, according to the police reports, was to test the security levels within the police station.
“We are really lucky, for a person walking into a police station fully armed and loaded with guns on him, that it did not end up in a terrible situation,” Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts told reporters.
Police arrested Armstrong and charged him with a variety of weapons charges and narcotics violations. According to the arrest record, Armstrong’s .22-caliber pistol had a round in the chamber as he walked into the station.
“An organized gang in the city of Baltimore sent an armed suspect into our building to see our security, to test our security. That is alarming to us,” Blatt told reporters. “In light of other incidents that have occurred in other cities, it has raised our level of concern.”
The Baltimore Police Department has scheduled meetings with the FBI, ATF, and DEA to discuss the situation. They have also sent a bulletin to many other law enforcement agencies, apprising them of the situation and warning them to be on the lookout.
“We’re not going to cower, we’re not going to back down, we’re not going to shy away from tough situation. We are going to be a Constitutional police department while we keep this city safe and continue to patrol the streets of the City of Baltimore.”
Armstrong was clearly coerced into entering the building, according to Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez. He told reporters “This person did not go in there on his own free will. This person had very little option, according to his statement, which lends credibility to what a dire situation this was.”