The North Ridgeville man facing charges for carrying a bag of weapons into a Westlake movie theater will appear in court this morning for his arraignment.
Police tell Channel 3 News that 37-year-old Scott Smith purchased a ticket to the late night showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" Saturday at the Regal Cinemas at Crocker Park.
An off-duty officer and theater manager searched his bag after he took his seat. They found a loaded 9mm handgun, three knives and a fourth knife under his clothing.
Westlake police tell Channel 3 they later discovered more weapons, a gas mask, tactical gear and ammunition at Smith's home. He did not have a gun permit.
While police say they haven't determined a motive, Smith's attorney claims he brought the weapons for self defense with "no intention to harm".
On the web: www.wkyc.com
In light of the movie theater shooting in Colorado, the Summit County Sheriff's Department are looking at ways to prevent something from happening here locally.
Summit County Sheriff's Inspector Bill Holland says that the shooting has heightened the awareness of deputies assigned to the theater.
"We were made aware of the situation in Colorado and we will act quickly if something occurs at the movie theater," Holland said.
A Summit County Sheriff's deputy is regularly present at the Regal Cinema Interstate Parkway just off I-77 in Green.
During the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie, 'The Dark Knight Rises', a gunman allegedly opened fire in the suburban Denver theater, killing 12 and injuring many others.
Holland says being prepared for cases of emergency is extremely important in terms of keeping the public safe.
"Anywhere we have a large crowd, it's always good to be prepared in case something happens or if it never happens. we want to be trained and prepared in case it does," he explained.
Some movie theaters have banned costumes and masks in the wake of the shooting and will continue to look for suspicious persons or bags being brought in to movie theatres or other public venues.
The overnight mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater has raised many questions pertaining to security at entertainment and public venues.
Appearing on the 1590 WAKR Ray Horner Morning Show, Tim Dimoff, president of SACS Consulting, said he believes security needs to change for places that house large groups of people.
"The historical profiles and the statistics tell us, obviously, the shooters go where there's larger crowds and that's where they can maximize what they want to do, unfortunately," Dimoff said.
A gunman opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado early Friday morning. At least 12 people were killed and dozens were injured.
Most places, similar to movie theaters, offer basic security which may include a police officer on duty, according to Dimoff.
"In most cases, movie theaters have the presence of a police officer or security, but they're not aggressively searching people. That may change now."
CO Theater Shooting Raises Security Questions by Amani Abraham
To keep safety as a top priority, Dimoff suggests placing more security near the entrance of various venues.
"I think the key to this isn't so much after they're in, it's before they come in and while they're coming in."
Dimoff said more of a physical security presence is needed to help deter criminals and keep an eye out for people who bring large bags and objects into buildings.
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