Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania – State police received a call just before noon on Good Friday that a white male in a pickup truck was pulled over and pointing what appeared to be a handgun at traffic, as originally reported by WGAL8.
Police established a perimeter in the area of Interstate 581 near Trindle Road, and shut down both east and westbound traffic on 581. A drone was deployed, as well as a SWAT team carrying assault rifles.
After a three hour investigation SWAT made contact with the alleged gunman and apprehended the suspect at gunpoint.
However, the gunman turned out to be an innocent stranded motorist. The alleged man waving a gun at traffic was in fact a blonde female driving a pickup truck who had broken down and pulled over, waiting for a tow truck, as she later described in a video posted to social media.
In the video she said that during the standoff she was initially unaware that the police investigation was focused on her. She became concerned for her own safety when her tow truck driver explained over the phone that he couldn’t get to her because the road was closed for an “active shooter,” according to police. At that point the woman herself called 911 to ask if she was safe, and explained that she was waiting on a tow truck.
But the standoff went on for hours.
Police finally made contact with the woman when they called her phone from a restricted number. The SWAT team then approached her in an armored military vehicle with guns drawn and directed her out onto the highway with her hands in the air. She was zip-tied and detained on the spot for questioning and to be searched, but no weapons were found and she was not charged with a crime.
The woman told police she was traveling on Interstate 581 from her morning appointment instructing horseback riding lessons.
She later found out that during the standoff, detectives contacted her mother who lives in Washington state and questioned if her daughter was mentally stable.
The timing of Friday’s police standoff incident on Interstate 581 coincided with a terror attack at the Capitol in Washington D.C.
The standoff caused traffic delays for hours on the west shore near the Carlisle Pike.