Chief: Officers who took down Ala. gunman prevented 'mass shooting incident'

A man who fired up to 50 rounds into a Bass Pro Shops Saturday was stopped by police before anyone was wounded

By Kate Feldman
New York Daily News

SPANISH FORT, Ala. — An Alabama man who fired up to 50 rounds into a Bass Pro Shops Saturday was taken down before what police believe could have turned even uglier.

Robert Smith, 38, was arrested during the shooting wearing body armor and carrying at least guns, including three AR rifle platforms, one AR pistol, a 9 mm short rifle, a shotgun and two pistols with several hundred rounds of ammunition for all the weapon, according to NBC 15.

“I definitely believe that our officers prevented what would have been a mass shooting incident,” Spanish Fort Police Chief John Barber told the station.

Miraculously, no one inside the Bass Pro Shops was injured in the spray of gunfire. An officer was slightly injured during the arrest.

Smith was tased and arrested at the scene and faces charges including resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, discharging a firearm into an occupied building and second-degree assault related to injuring an officer while being taken into custody, according to NBC 15.

A woman was also taken into custody at the same time but her role or relationship to Smith is unclear.

Smith’s family said it was common for people in the area to have that many guns for hunting. His cousin, Rev. Al Smith, said he had been acting “a little different” recently after the death of his mother.

“I talked with him two or three days ago and he wasn’t acting just like himself,” the reverend told NBC 15. “I remember telling him I said, ’Cuz, take it easy. It’s gonna be all right,’ and he said to me, he said, ’I love you but people just don’t understand.’”

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