What would you think if you were walking down the street and saw someone holding an assault rifle out a window?
That is what police say witnesses and officers believed was happening on South Point Drive in South Boston Wednesday night. They responded after 8 p.m. and found a male aiming what appeared to be an assault rifle, with a scope and a silencer, outside.
Police say they went inside and learned the gun was actually a Sage International BB Rifle - the person they thought to be a gunman allegedly told officers he was firing it out his window for fun.
While no one was reported to be hurt, and no property was reported to be damaged, the device did prompt a witness to call police and responders to believe there was a potential public threat.
"Our worst nightmare, and all my officers' worst nightmare, is, heaven forbid, a young child has one of these fake guns pointing at one of our officers," Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told necn's Latoyia Edwards Thursday. "It leaves us no choice."
This was not the first time Evans addressed the issue while appearing on "Boston's Top Cop." Back in July, he told necn that the use of realistic replicas "really puts us in a terrible situation."
"You really can't tell the difference," Evans said Thursday. "We actually worked to get a city ordinance passed to try to stop the sale of these guns, because they look so real."
Evans referenced the department's work with clergy members to warn of the dangers of such devices.
In a widely publicized case, 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was holding what turned out to be a replica gun, was shot to death by a police officer in Cleveland.
Officials have not named the South Boston suspect, who has not been charged.
"We're still contemplating bringing him into court, because he was firing that BB gun in a threatening manner," Evans told necn. "But we tried to make it clear, we confiscated that."