The FBI this week is trying to figure out whether or not a crime occurred after it was reported that a large group of turban-wearing men fired weapons in a remote high desert community of Southern California.
“The FBI was asked to respond to reports of suspicious activity on federal land, and we are currently working with local authorities to determine whether a crime occurred,” Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the bureau's Los Angeles office, told us.
What witnesses reported sounds, frankly, quite scary.
“The reporting party told the 911 operator more than 100 shots were heard and 5 to 7 subjects wearing turbans were seen in the area shooting assault rifles, handguns and shotguns,” reads a San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department statement on the incident.
It happened at 8:25 a.m. on Sunday at Deep Creek Hot Springs in Apple Valley, sheriff's officials said.
Deputies from far and wide, as well as a sheriff's helicopter, responded and found 17 men with backpacks and “other items” walking away from a creek, authorities said.
“Several handguns, a rifle and a shotgun were found during a search of the backpacks and bedding the subjects had been carrying,” the San Bernardino department stated. “The subjects were very cooperative and were interviewed.”
An FBI agent assisted with interviews, deputies said.
The important thing here is that none of the men had criminal records or warrants, all the guns except one, a rifle, were properly registered, and vehicles associated with the guys were also legit, cops said.
Witnesses said they heard gunfire, but actual shooting was not witnessed, deputies said.
“There was no evidence found that a crime had been committed by any of the subjects who were detained, and they were released,” the department said.
However, it appeared the investigation was ongoing.
Anyone with information was asked to call deputies at 760-552-6800.