PTC cops investigating concealed rifle found at Holy Trinity Catholic Church

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Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Peachtree City. File photo.
Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Peachtree City. File photo.

Update Feb. 2: During the afternoon hours of Feb. 1, officers of the Peachtree City Police Department responded to the Holy Trinity Catholic Church on Walt Banks Road in reference to a rifle that was located on the premises by a church member. The “AR-15-style rifle” was located concealed underneath a jacket in the chapel, according to the police incident report.

Department spokesman Chris Hyatt said investigators worked diligently through the night and were able to locate the owner of the rifle.

“Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that a female who suffers from mental illness and diminished mental capacity resides with the owner of the firearm and was responsible for leaving the rifle at the church,” said Hyatt.

“She informed investigators that she was uncomfortable with the rifle in the home, so she discarded the rifle at a location where she believed it would be handled safely,” Hyatt said.  “It was determined that this individual has a pattern of similar behavior in the past with other various items that she had removed from the home. Investigators found no indication that she intended to use the rifle or participate in any sort of violent activity. Investigators will be conferring with the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office regarding any possible charges that may be pending.”

We believe this to be an isolated incident with no further cause for concern for the public at this time, said Hyatt.

“We encourage our citizens to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times. Reporting suspicious activity such as this incident is what helps us keep our city as safe as possible,” said Hyatt. “The Peachtree City Police Department would also like to thank the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in bringing this matter to a timely conclusion.”

Original story: Peachtree City police are investigating the details involving an assault rifle found concealed under a jacket in the chapel Saturday afternoon at Holy Trinity Catholic Church on Walt Banks Road.

Peachtree City Police Department spokesman Chris Hyatt said officers responded to Holy Trinity Catholic Church during the afternoon hours regarding an assault rifle that was found concealed under an unattended jacket in the chapel.

Hyatt said investigators are working diligently to determine who placed the firearm there and what their intentions may have been.

“As always, we encourage citizens to be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately,” Hyatt said.

9 COMMENTS

  1. BTW, I’ve been trying to find out since right after this story broke – was the rifle loaded? Think about how far apart the danger level is between loaded with the safety off versus unloaded, safety on and a trigger lock. I’ve call the PTC PD twice and been told to leave a VM with the investigating officer, but no response so far.

  2. Hmm… Someone who is afraid of a rifle tries to get rid of it, but does so in a very irresponsible way. That sounds more like the result of our gun-hating culture. People who love guns, or at least believe they are important to protect themselves don’t do that. Projection much?

    • Well Esteban, the article stated:

      “Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that a female who suffers from mental illness and diminished mental capacity resides with the owner of the firearm and was responsible for leaving the rifle at the church,” said Hyatt.

      That probably explains why it was disposed of in an irresponsible way.

      It does seem that if the owner of the firearm had been more responsible they would have stored it in a secure location that was inaccessible to the mentally ill individual.

      • I agree about keeping firearms away from those with mental issues, although as always, the Devil is in the details. The firearm owner may be very responsible but it’s possible some unusual or extreme circumstances may have occurred – something I assume law enforcement will evaluate.

  3. I emailed the editor re: this story. The police report used the phrase “AR-15 style rifle” but the article didn’t cite that. The original version in the Citizen said “assault rifle” but they fixed it to “AR-15 style”.

  4. I am curious why the original article stated that it was an assault rifle, while the updated article stated it was a rifle? Every gun can be used to “assault” someone else. What really matters here is that it was a gun. Look, I’m no gun nut and I’m on the side of stricter regulations, but how the media reports incidents like this are a big deal.

    Here’s the deal Ben – do I have your attention? When reporting an incident that involves guns and you’re not positive of the type of gun that is involved, it’s best to state that you don’t know what kind of gun it is. Your opening line should have been “Peachtree City police are investigating the details involving a GUN found concealed under a jacket in the chapel Saturday afternoon at Holy Trinity Catholic Church on Walt Banks Road. It is not apparent what type of gun was found, so please check back for further updates.” After some investigation update your audience by giving them the information that you have. “The gun found was a hunting rifle, or a handgun, or a semi-automatic rifle, or the actual caliber, make, and model.” Is that so hard to do? It’s actually okay to be honest when you write these articles. If you don’t know something – state that you don’t know it.

    • I thought that was odd as well – how do you know its an assault rifle if you don’t have make and model. Or for that matter, what exactly is an assault rifle? I don’t really know. I was also shocked at myself for that element of the event being my first thought when I read the story. Apparently the politically correct anti-2nd amendment propaganda is working subconsciously on me.

      Oh well, at least we can anticipate Channel 2 coming back today with another 5 minute block on the story but this time focus on mental illness instead of the gun. I’d sure be disappointed if they failed to set the record straight and investigate the actual problem.

      Sure do appreciate the fine men and women of Peachtree City Police Dept. who responded as they did and then brought in the national and state agencies. Good Work!