After some investigation, Sheriff’s officials say there still isn’t a lot to report about a call Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 7, that brought an unmissable amount of lights, sirens and law enforcement officers to downtown Weaverville. While the incident slowed traffic and brought several curious people out of downtown businesses, Sheriff’s Detective Josh Ford said no one was arrested.
According to Ford, dispatch received several calls that a fight was taking place in the street in front of the Joss House, in the 600 block of Main Street.
“Units responded to the scene, during which time they located two of the involved individuals, while a third appeared to have fled prior to our arrival,” he said Wednesday. “Both the detained individuals denied any involvement in a physical altercation, although they were identified by witnesses. Neither had any injuries.”
Ford said investigators became concerned upon hearing mention of a gun, which had not been seen by any witnesses. He said further investigation confirmed that none of the parties had a firearm during the incident. However, investigators were not satisfied.
“Based on the fact that the contacted subjects were less than cooperative, our efforts changed to locating a potential outstanding firearm, as we were concerned that a firearm may have been ditched prior to the arrival of law enforcement,” Ford said. “The main concern with this was that a child or someone unsuspecting may have come into contact with the firearm, and inadvertently caused themselves or others harm.”
Investigators searched the area, as well as the vehicles of the involved parties and located a handgun in one of their vehicles.
Ford said since the subject didn’t have a permit, investigators seized the handgun for safekeeping and evidence.
Ford said the gun “was never used in any incident, it was simply mentioned and we became concerned as to its possible location.”
In the end, all subjects were released. The gun owner will be charged separately for having the unpermitted gun in a vehicle. Officers from several other state and county agencies responded to the report, making for a surprising scene downtown.
After the incident, Sheriff Tim Saxon explained that even though the incident turned out to be less than reported, it’s typical that all available officers will respond to such reports. Saxon said he would rather have too many than too few officers on scene.