HOCKING CO., Ohio (KDKA) — A gun store owner is being credited for stopping a potentially dangerous situation in Ohio.
The Hocking County Sheriff’s Office initially posted about the incident on social media.
A local gun store owner told authorities that a man trying to buy a firearm made statements that made him question the person’s mental stability. He turned the customer away, prompting the man to scream threats.
Deputies responding to the incident discovered that the customer was James D. Howard, 25. They say he assaulted a faculty member at Ohio University earlier that day.
Officers eventually found Howard at a local Walmart, trying to purchase a large amount of ammunition, gloves and camouflage clothing. Inside his vehicle, they found a newly purchased gun along with survival gear.
The gun store owner, John Downs, told CBS affiliate 10TV that despite Howard passing a background check, the look on his face told him something was amiss.
“The look on his face, his eyes. I just knew something was wrong,” Downs said. “I said, ‘I can’t sell you the gun.’ I said, ‘I got a bad feeling about this, and I’m not going to sell it to you.'”
Police said Howard has a history of mental health issues and has been charged with burglary and weapons under a disability.