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Shopping center evacuated due to possible live grenades in Punta Gorda

Posted at 2:07 PM, Mar 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-15 07:22:22-04

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- The Lee County Bomb Squad has responded to a shopping center on Tamiami Trail in Punta Gorda after potentially live grenades were brought to a gun shop.

It's happening at Higher Power Outfitters on Tamiami Trail at Boca Grande Boulevard.

Ryan Ingle, the owner of the gun shop, said the family of an army veteran who passed away were cleaning out his home when they found an army trunk filled with ammunition and wartime memorabilia. They brought the trunk to Higher Power Outfitters, and that's when they found the two grenades.

Ingle called the Punta Gorda Police Department, who brought in the Lee County Bomb Squad to investigate.

Ingle said based on his experience in the military, he knows the grenades were live.

"As I picked it up, it had significant weight and it was real," Ingle said. "I had a real good suspicion they were live, and they were."

The plaza was evacuated as the Bomb Squad secured the grenades.

The Punta Gorda Police Department said it can't confirm if the grenades were live. It said the Bomb Squad was x-raying the grenades before destroying them.