On the same day a Texas gunman killed more than 20 people at a rural church, authorities in Albany County arrest a man they said had enough weapons to commit mass carnage in the Capital Region. Matt Hunter reports.
KNOX, N.Y. – From firearms and grenade launchers to trip wire and other devices used to make explosives, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said the firepower found inside a Knox home Sunday was more than enough to end many lives.
"Our investigators went down to the room and opened the door, and it was just an unbelievable cache of weapons he had in there," Apple said Monday. "The weaponry he had is not your typical weaponry, so he could have created a lot of carnage, but we don't know if that was his intent."
Deputies were at the Lewis Road home looking for Edward Reis. Earlier, dispatchers received a 911 call from his wife, who was concerned her husband may take his own life. Apple says the 43-year-old spent time in the military.
"We know that he's skilled; we were told that he's dangerous, and we also believe that he's fighting some mental health issues," Apple said.
After a tip from State Police, deputies tracked Reis down at the America's Best Value Inn in East Greenbush.
"We went over with one of our crisis negotiators as well, called him and were able to get him to out of a motel he was staying at off of Columbia Turnpike," Apple said. "He had an AR-15 with a fully loaded magazine, 50 rounds, loaded, and we don't know what his intent was at that point."
Over the course of their several-hour search, local law enforcement learned of the mass shooting at a Texas church that claimed 26 lives.
"That certainly raised some eyebrows here as well and heightened our awareness," Apple said.
Reis's arrest also comes less than a week after a deadly attack in New York City, and a month following a mass shooting in Las Vegas. While it's unclear if the Albany County man planned to inflict similar harm, Apple says it should serve as a sobering reminder to all of us.
"We urge everybody to let us find out what is 'unimportant,' " Apple said. "Call us on everything and we'll sort it out. It could be that one time where you say 'I didn't want to bring the guy's name into it' or 'I didn't want to get him in trouble' that something horrible could happen."
Reis is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, criminal possession of a firearm, five counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, unlawfully possessing or selling noxious material and possession of fireworks. He's currently being held in the Albany County Jail without bail.