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RIFLE AT THE MALL: Police say 14-year-old brought gun to Coastland Center

Police: The teen had a rifle and marijuana in his backpack
Gun in backpack at Coastland Center Mall
Teen charged with taking rifle into Naples mall
Posted at 11:22 AM, Apr 22, 2024

NAPLES, Fla — Naples Police say a 14-year-old brought a rifle into Coastland Center Mall.

They say another shopper saw what he thought was the imprint of a gun in the teenager's backpack, outside of the Old Navy store on Sunday afternoon.

Police say an off duty sergeant working as a security guard found the boy and asked to see what was in his backpack. They say the boy told him no, because he had marijuana in it.

Teen charged with taking rifle into Naples mall
Naples Police say 14-year-old Joseph Sweeney brought a rifle into Coastland Center Mall

Police say at one point during questioning the boy tried to run off, so officers did a take down maneuver to get him under control and take him into custody.

Joseph Sweeney is charged with a felony count of Unlawful Carry of a Concealed Firearm. He also faces misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession and resisting arrest.

Police say inside Sweeney's backpack they found a Palmetto State Armory AR style rifle with a fully loaded magazine and less than 20 grams of marijuana.

Police say Sweeney told them he did not plan to shoot anyone or open fire at the mall. They also say he refused to them how or when he got the rifle.

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