Story at a glance
- The man allegedly held the rifle in a low ready position, prompting protesters to panic.
- He then allegedly refused a Lubbock police officer’s commands to drop the weapon, but did so when the officer drew his gun.
- Quinones was then tackled by a protester, and the suspect allegedly yelled “this is a revolution” and “President Trump must die” before being arrested.
A Texas man who brandished an assault rifle at a Black Lives Matter protest in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday has been charged with making “interstate threats,” according to the Department of Justice.
According to a criminal complaint, Emmanuel Quinones, 25, allegedly brought a loaded Smith & Wesson .223 semi-automatic to a demonstration in Lubbock prompted by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day.
BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE GEORGE FLOYD CASE
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas said Quinones held the rifle at “low ready,” in firing position with the muzzle pointed toward the ground in the view of protesters, causing some in the crowd to panic. He then allegedly refused a Lubbock police officer’s commands to drop the weapon, but did so when the officer drew his gun.
Texas is an open-carry state, but it is illegal to display a firearm in a public place “in a manner calculated to alarm.”
Quinones was then tackled by a protester, and the suspect allegedly yelled “this is a revolution” and “President Trump must die” before being arrested.
This just happened in Lubbock at our protest rally! Someone showed up with an automatic weapon. @LubbockPolice came in a helped take him down. #Lubbock #Texas #blm #BlackLivesMatter #rally #maga pic.twitter.com/cy7sfBA4Ty— Mark Wilson (@themawilson) May 31, 2020
Quinones told authorities he planned to defend demonstrators from “MAGA instigators,” who he planned to shoot on sight. He also said he previously made social media posts with the purpose of intimidating the president and the so-called MAGA instigators. One such post suggested he planned to obtain gun parts to “off racists and MAGA people.”
“Instead of respecting citizens’ rights to respectfully voice their feelings, this defendant incited panic, putting everyone present — including those he claimed to support — in danger,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said. “We will not tolerate attempts to instill terror or encourage violence at otherwise peaceful protests.”
He made his initial appearance Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant. He could face up to five years in federal prison if convicted.
READ MORE ABOUT THE GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS