Man with gun threatens Peoria High School band at Prescott camp

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- A man with a gun threatened a group of high school students attending band camp in Prescott Wednesday night and authorities are asking for the public's help to find him.

According to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, the man approached members of the Peoria High School band who were practicing on the field at the Emmanuel Pines Camp in the 3000 block of Spence Springs Road.

He reportedly told them, "Stop making noise. Morning and afternoon is OK, but nighttime is not." The man then asked the band director, "Do we have an understanding?" The director acknowledged that he did.

Throughout the incident the man was brandishing a handgun and at times pointed the weapon directly at band students and staff, according to YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn.

The man was present for about 45 seconds then walked away and out of sight.

The 52-member band was escorted from the field and placed on lockdown.

Deputies searched the neighboring area but were not able to locate the suspect. D'Evelyn said it is very likely he lives in the vicinity of the camp.

The suspect is described as a white male in his 50s, approximately 6 feet tall with shorter gray hair and a tattoo on his right forearm. He is also described as having a "beer belly," dirty and sweaty, and "really tan" as if he worked outside frequently. He was wearing gray basketball-type shorts with a stripe on the side and a red or salmon-colored polo-style shirt.

The suspect apparently spoke with an accent of some type, possibly British or New York-based. One witness did not notice the accent, but said that the suspect's speech was slurred. The gun was described as a black semi-automatic handgun with a short barrel.

The sheriff's office is asking for the public's help in identifying and locating the suspect. Contact YCSO at 928-771-3260 or report the information anonymously to Yavapai Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232.