Man Eerily Leaves A Rifle In Utah Capitol Rotunda To Protest Gun Violence

The Utah State Capitol was evacuated after a man in a dark suit left a wreath and a box containing a semiautomatic rifle on the floor of the rotunda.
October 16, 2015 1:33 p.m.

Police said a man left a wreath and a box containing a rifle Thursday on the floor of the Utah state capitol rotunda in a protest against gun violence.

The state capitol was evacuated and a bomb squad was called in after a young man in a dark suit left a wreath and a box containing a semi-automatic rifle on the floor at about 3:24 p.m., The Washington Post reported. The newspaper noted that the suspicious package, which also contained a note, was left just minutes after a judge ordered the state of Utah to continue funding Planned Parenthood.

But the man was apparently concerned with a different hot-button political issue: gun violence.

Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce told The Salt Lake Tribune on Friday that Cameron Carl Crimefighter (yes, that really is his legal name), 31, contacted investigators Thursday night after seeing pictures of himself circulate in the news and on social media.

“The individual essentially said that the purpose of his actions was to advocate against gun violence,” Royce told the newspaper.

Crimefighter was questioned and released, although the Tribune noted that police said they were still evaluating whether any laws were broken.

A spokesman for the Utah Highway Safety Office told The Washington Post that it was unclear whether the man who left the package would face charges because Utah is an open-carry state.

“The state of Utah has an open carry policy that includes the capitol, unfortunately,” Trooper Lawrence Hopper told The Post. “I say unfortunately because it just causes dangerous situations.”

“It has to be open and seen by all, of course,” he added. “With this situation, this is really not considered open carry… Whether he’s arrested or not is up to the investigators.”

The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: