"Is that an AR15 in your pants?" Bodycam shows seizure of AR-15 assault rifles from juveniles

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Less than four days after the discovery of 14-year-old Kyler Stigger, the victim of a homicide found by police inside a vehicle early Saturday morning, Stuttgart Police Department bodycam footage has surfaced showing the seizure of four AR-15 semi-automatic rifles from a vehicle stopped inside city limits in May 2021. The video draws attention to the growing concerns of a city in fear of losing more of its youth to gun violence.

The five-and-a-half-minute-long video was posted to a YouTube account on Tuesday morning and has garnered more than 8,300 views, so far.

According to SPD spokesman Eric Mahfouz, the video was released by Prosecuting Attorney Tim Blair’s office to the defense side of a case during the standard discovery process.

The video shows a traffic stop taking place in the parking lot of the Tru by Hilton hotel on W. 22nd St. after the vehicle was observed speeding on Buerkle St. After the officer wearing the bodycam requests identification from everyone in the vehicle, he is told by the male driver that the four others in the vehicle are minors.

The officer asks several times if there is “anything” in the car after smelling marijuana and is given remnants of marijuana joints. Shining his flashlight into the backseat, the officer sees a rifle under the feet of the three juveniles sitting there.

Initially, three AR-15 rifles are removed from the backseat of the vehicle.

As the officer is preparing to pat down the first male youth removed from the backseat of the car, a fourth AR-15 is found in his pants, and the youth takes off, leading at least two officers on a foot chase north across the hotel parking lot, past the Drumline building and toward W. 19th St. It is not known if the juvenile was apprehended.

The driver and the three juveniles who remained in the car are then seen on video being arrested. The officer asks the driver at one point for the name of the juvenile who ran and the driver claims to not know him and says he “just picked him up.” The officer questions whether the driver would really have picked up someone he didn’t know who was walking around carrying a gun before the video ends.

The identities of the individuals in the video have not been released and the legal ownership status of the rifles is not known. According to SPD, the incident report for the video is dated May 5, 2021.

The officer wearing the bodycam is a former reserve officer no longer employed by SPD. When reached for comment, he directed questions to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

A representative for Blair’s office said that he was in court Wednesday in DeWitt and would not be available for comment. A voicemail message left for him had not been returned as of the deadline for this story.

Last night, during a community-organized rally held to protest gun violence and seek justice for local homicide victims’ families, held outside his office on S. College St., Blair announced two arrests in Stigger’s death.

No other information about the arrests has been made public at this time and Stigger’s official cause of death has not been released.

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