WESTLAKE -- A 37-year-old North Ridgeville man was charged Monday, after police say he walked into the Regal Cinemas at Crocker Park in Westlake, carrying a satchel full of weapons.
Police have identified the man as Scott Smith.
Westlake police say Smith bought a movie ticket for the 10 o'clock showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" Saturday night.
A keen-eyed theater manager and off-duty Westlake police officer, who was working security, stopped Smith shortly after he sat down in his theater seat. The officer asked to search his bag, and Smith complied, without incident. Inside the bag were a loaded 9 mm Glock handgun, two additional loaded magazines and two knives.
Another knife was found hidden under the man's clothes.
Investigators said Tuesday Smith does not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and are also looking into whether he was on medication that would preclude him from owning guns.
News of the arrest was chilling for movie-goers at the Regal Cinemas, who had the recent Colorado movie massacre top of mind, as they were in the theater.
"That's really scary. Wow," said Jennifer Moore, who went to the movies with her friend, Lillian McNulty. "We were just talking about copycats, and about if someone hears something, and they do it."
"It definitely puts you on high alert," she said.
Westlake police spent Monday evening acting on a warrant to search the suspect's North Ridgeville home, hoping to learn more about the man's background and possible intentions. Investigators would not say what they found in the home, citing the early stages of the investigation.
Westlake police notified the FBI about the case. An FBI spokesperson said agents will be ready to assist in the investigation, if needed.
The suspect is being held in the Westlake jail on various conceal-carry gun charges. However, as the investigation continues, police expect him to face other local, state, or federal charges.
Regal Cinemas issued a statement confirming the arrest.
"Westlake Police, who work with us regarding security at Crocker Park, did detain someone... We do take safety and security very seriously at Regal," said Regal Cinemas Spokesman Russ Nunley.
Nunley also said the theater chain has signs clearly posted in all their theaters, alerting customers that Regal reserves the right to inspect the contents of any backpack, package or bag.
While the security measures worked, and no one was hurt, it was of little comfort to McNulty.
"That was luck. Or divine intervention," she said.