An intoxicated Carson City man was arrested on suspicion of firing an assault rifle near children at a swimming pool on Saturday.
Manual Vargas-Rangel, 41, reportedly fired two shots into the air from the second-story balcony of his apartment building. Witnesses say he was yelling "I am number one" in Spanish while firing the shots.
He then reportedly pointed the weapon, a Russian-made SKS assault rifle with extended bayonet and a banana-style magazine holding up to 30 bullets, at a pool area with several children and adults.
"At least one lady said he aimed the rifle down at the pool area," said Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong. "She grabbed up her children - she had like four children down there."
It's unclear whether he tried to fire the weapon at that time, said Sgt. Clay Wall.
"I guess there was a round in the rifle that was struck (by the firing pin) but didn't go off," he said.
Five deputies moved in on the apartment at 2710 Menlo Drive on the corner of Lassen Drive after a 911 call at about 1 p.m.
Vargas-Rangel had gone back inside his apartment, put away the rifle and was leaving the area when deputies found him, Furlong said.
They identified him based on witness descriptions and had him lay on the ground. Police reports say he was so intoxicated he had a hard time standing on his own.
Deputies found ammunition in his pockets, including "tracer" rounds which leave a burning red tail along their trajectory.
Furlong arrived as they were searching him.
"He gave himself up willingly," Furlong said. "It was over probably within 10 minutes."
Deputies could not communicate with Vargas-Rangel, a construction worker, because he does not speak English. A Spanish-speaking translator met the deputies at the Carson City Jail on Musser Street after he was arrested.
He was booked on gross misdemeanor suspicion of aiming a firearm at another and misdemeanor suspicion of discharging a firearm within city limits and possession of a firearm while intoxicated. His bail was set at $4,269.
Furlong said his deputies responded quickly and professionally, keeping the event relatively quiet.
"The response was so cool and collected a lot of folks overlooked it," he said. "Because of the environment this could have been real bad. It's very tight living quarters, there are a lot of people around there, and this guy could have done anything from up on that balcony."
Contact Karl Horeis at email@example.com or 881-1219.