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Armed Bragg soldier headed to photo shoot arrested at Fayetteville mall

Posted July 2, 2015
Updated July 3, 2015

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— A 25-year-old Army sergeant who was planning to take photos in military gear was arrested at Fayetteville's Cross Creek Mall Thursday evening after dozens of panicked 911 calls from shoppers.

Bryan Scott Wolfinger is charged with going armed to the terror of the public. Police said Wolfinger was carrying an AR-15 assault rifle, military ballistic panel carrier and multiple high-capacity rifle magazine when he was taken into custody.

Investigators said multiple shoppers began calling 911 shortly after Wolfinger arrived at the mall for a photo shoot.

Officers arriving on scene encountered Wolfinger near an entrance in the Macy's wing of the mall, and he was taken into custody without incident.

Wolfinger was processed at the Cumberland County jail and released to his company commander at Fort Bragg, police said.

Officers also searched the mall for a possible second gunman, but later determined Wolfinger was alone.

"The entire mall was searched to ensure that a second armed subject was not present," Fayetteville police said in a statement.

Fayetteville Assistant Police Chief Anthony Kelly said Wolfinger did not threaten anyone and that the ammunition rounds were in a backpack.

"With the terror alerts that we've had, it's a holiday weekend, it's the nation's birthday, our senses are high," he said. "Thankfully, it turned out like it did."

Amirah Williams, who was shopping at the mall, said the man's presence created chaos.

"It was really chaotic," she said. "It was scary. Nobody ever wants to be in a predicament like that. I was panicking. My friends were panicking. Everyone in the mall was panicking. It was just scary."

Xyn Rufus was also in shock.

"I called my parents, that's the first thing I did," she said.

No additional information about the incident has been released.


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  • Richard Hertz Jul 7, 2015
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    Sean Patrick Do you feel as strong about all law breakers as you do about Mr. Wolfinger? Do you think we should round up all the illegals and deport them? What about the drug dealers? Or is it just your hate of the 2nd Amendment and gun owners that has you all worked up

  • Todd Whitmer Jul 4, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do it.

    C'mon people use some common sense!

  • Jae'lin Crowder Jul 4, 2015
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    Oh and Happy 4th of July everyone !

  • Sean Patrick Jul 4, 2015
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    He DID do something wrong. He entered private property (Cross Creek Mall is owned by Cross Creek Mall SPE, L.P.) which has visible signs that clearly state that firearms are prohibited on the premises. He ignored those signs and disregarded both the rights of the property owner and the well-being of the other shoppers. The latter action caused a panic, i.e. "to the terror of the public."

    So YES, Mr. Wolfinger did most certainly commit acts that were both morally wrong AND illegal. As such he deserves to prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law not only for what he did but to also set an example to all those who selfishly interpret the 2nd Amendment as giving them the right to disregard and ignore the rights of their fellow citizens.

  • Jae'lin Crowder Jul 4, 2015
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    Mr.Hedricks,Michael Jackson us to like sleeping with kids in his bed(not touch them) just sleep together, which isn't against the law technically.Some things are just wrong buddie.

  • David Hedricks Jul 4, 2015
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    So basically, he does nothing wrong or illegal and is still getting thrown under the bus! Open carry is legal in NC ...

  • Jae'lin Crowder Jul 4, 2015
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    Mr.Byrne even if where cooperative some police (NOT ALL) slam us on the ground, put their knee in our backs and say we resisted when really we don't. And that sir is a FACT

  • Jae'lin Crowder Jul 4, 2015
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    This dude was just trying to throw his wait around like alot of military personnel do in Fayetteville. There's almost 20 photographer's in Fayetteville all in more private areas. Why else would somebody carry an assault rifle to the mall on a Friday. Little buddie just wanted some attention(somebody give him a huge )

  • Christopher Byrne Jul 3, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    It was not their color, it was their behavior and inability to rationalize in an adverse situation that got them killed. Notice our Sargeant was "taken without incident". This "what if" stuff is getting very old very quickly.

  • Glenda Hightower Jul 3, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Only someone who remembers the little kid with the toy gun and the guy in some store with a toy gun (both black) who were shot and killed. And that someone is not racist, just pointing out the facts.