Ft. Bragg solider arrested after carrying rifle into Fayetteville mall

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A Fort Bragg sergeant faces charges after police said he walked through the Cross Creek mall with a rifle in his hand Thursday.

Around 6:45 p.m., Police received multiple 9-11 calls of an armed gunman in the mall.

Once officers arrived, police found 25-year-old Bryan Wolfinger near Macy’s inside the mall.

Police said Wolfinger was armed with an AR-15 rifle, bullet proof vest and multiple high capacity magazines.

Tom McCollum, Fort Bragg public information officer, said “the whole goal as I understand is he was going inside to get a photo taken at one of the photo labs, I guess he wanted to bring in his own props.”

During the incident, Macy’s was evacuated and other stores were put on lockdown.

Maria Robinson of St. Pauls said, “I would have been scared, I would have panicked. I would have been trying to find the first way to get out.”

Mathew Littlejohn of Fayetteville said, “To walk into a mall with a loaded gun, nobody knows what your intentions are.”

The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America.

Gun experts said it is equipped to fire a 30-round magazine in less than 30 seconds.

“It uses a small bullet, but it travels fast and it has very little recoil,” said Thomas Greene of Jim’s Gun Jobbery.

Police arrested Wolfinger without incident and no one was injured.

Still, for Littlejohn who served 26 years in the army, he believes Wolfinger used poor judgment.

“I don’t think any of our soldiers were trained to do something like that,” Littlejohn said.

Fort Bragg did say Wolfinger removed the firing pins from his weapon and the magazines were empty as well.

Wolfinger was charged with going armed to the terror of the public. He was released back to his unit.

He’s expected to be in court July 6.

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