Man With Guns, Ammo, Bullet Proof Vest Arrested In Vilonia Storm Shelter

VILONIA, Ark. - The strong storms from Tuesday night is causing tornado warnings to be issued in Mayflower and Vilonia. Those are two areas that have had their fair share of severe weather. 
 
When there are storms, the City of Vilonia opens up its community storm shelters for anyone to use, but Tuesday night police officers arrested one man who brought with him four guns, ammunition, and a bullet proof vest. The community shelter is on school property and the man was charged with bring guns on the school's campus. Some say he wasn't threatening, it was just weird. 
 
It's not the first thing you would expect to see at a storm shelter as about 300 moved to protect themselves from high winds and rain. 
 
"I did see the rifles he had in his bag. It had the barrels sticking out of it," said Steven Riddling. 
 
Riddling and his family quickly made their way to the community shelter at Vilonia High School shortly after tornado sirens started going off Tuesday evening. 
 
"I think he walked in right after we did," said Riddling. 
 
As he and his family rode out the storm they saw the man with the weapons. He was later identified as Billy Edgar, 20. 
 
"I thought he might have been in the military, but the jacket he was wearing, and that he was armed raised a red flag," said Riddling. 
 
Vilonia Police Chief Brad McNew says Edgar brought two long guns and two pistols into the shelter. 
 
"It was very intimidating with a big vest, military type bullet proof vest with all the magazines sticking out from it," said Chief McNew. 
 
He says shortly after his officers became aware of Edgar he was escorted out and arrested for having a gun on school property. 
 
Chief McNew says Edgar didn't seem like he meant any harm, but why he brought it to the school still baffles him. 
 
"I guess, not thinking, I don't know," said Chief McNew. 
 
Riddling says what Edgar was carrying is odd, but he didn't seem very threatening. He hopes the decision to bring the guns inside was just an innocent mistake. 
 
"It was very weird. I've never seen anything like that," said McNew. 

 


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