Armed Man Arrested Outside Washington’s Bass Canyon Fest, Thwarting Potential Mass Shooting


Thanks to vigilant concertgoers and security staff at Bass Canyon festival, an armed man with two loaded 9 mm pistols was arrested Friday night outside the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Wash. Grant County deputies said they believe the suspect may have had plans to commit a mass shooting at the venue. There were no injuries.

The three-day bass music festival featuring Excision and friends had a lineup that included the 36-year-old Canadian producer and DJ along with Subtronics, G-rex, Blanke, Svdden Death, Diesel, Kayzo and more. A statement posted to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page noted that the festival was sold out with upwards of 25,000 people in attendance.

Witnesses saw the suspect – who has been identified as 31-year-old Jonathan R. Moody of Ephrata, Wash. – “inhale an unknown substance or gas from a balloon and then load two 9mm pistols from the trunk of his car. The man concealed one pistol in the rear of his waistband and the other in an outside-the-waistband holster,” according to a statement posted on Facebook. The statement added that the suspect raised suspicions by reportedly approaching concertgoers and “asking what time the concert ended and where people would be exiting the venue.”

After fans alerted security about the suspect, venue security detained Moody outside the venue and confiscated his pistols. Deputies, who were notified around 9 p.m by citizens and security, arrested Moody on suspicion of one count of possession of a dangerous weapon and one count of unlawful carrying or handling of a weapon.

The statement from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office added, “Remember: if you see something, say something. Citizens saw something completely out of place for the circumstances and notified security, who in turn notified deputies. That combination of situational awareness along with noticing ‘something does not fit’ resulted in a possible tragedy being prevented. Thank you to the concertgoers who reported this man, and to venue security for keeping the man from getting inside the concert venue.”

Festival organizers addressed the situation with the following statement posted on Twitter Aug. 20:

“Bass Canyon Fam,
“Last night, a pistol-carrying local man was arrested after reportedly being seen outside the venue at the Day Parking lot. He did not have a festival wristband and was not attempting to enter the festival.

“Safety is our top priority. Thank you to the fans who reported him, and the venue security and sheriff’s department for handling the situation. Always look out for each other, stay safe, and remember, if you see something, say something. – Team Bass Canyon.”

Bass Canyon resumed Saturday and Sunday.

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