CALEXICO, Calif. - Police said they recovered the Cadillac of automatic rifles after frightened residents reported the sounds of automatic gunfire right behind their homes.
Calexico Officer Shaun Sundahl said it was Saturday evening when they got several calls.
“Calexico police officers responded to a shooting that just occurred in the vacant lot just to the rear of 1620 Rockwood, which is the Calexico Housing Authority Projects,” Sundahl said.
He said witnesses saw men they described as gang members fire five rounds from a high-power rifle into the dirt area. They then saw a group of about five gang members putting the gun inside of a rifle case and then flee inside of the projects.
When police got there, the men were gone.
“During the safety search, we found a gun that was inside the closet. That rifle case matched the description of what the witness saw the gang members put the rifle inside,” Sundahl said.
Police were surprised by what they found inside the case.
“We opened the rifle case, and lo and behold, we found the AR-15 Daniel Defense rifle. It was modified to the point that it’s a crime to have, not all the AR-15’s are illegal, except the way that gun was modified, made it perfectly illegal,” Sundahl said.
Some residents who didn’t want to be identified said that gang activity is growing in the area.
“There’s no arrests. We have nobody identified at the moment. But, we’re working on some leads,” Sundahl said.
The ATF – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms – traced the rifle back to the state of Georgia. They’re looking for the registered owner, as well.
“It’s a really nice gun. It’s the Cadillac of the AR-15’s,” Sundahl said.
Police ask anyone with information on this case to contact them.