A man who found a possible mortar shell had tried to sell it for scrap but decided to take it to his favorite police officer — 24 hours later. As it turned out, it wasn’t an explosive device.
Someone else saw the man with the device and called the Gulfport Police Department on Monday afternoon, Sgt. Joshua Bromen said.
Gulfport police detained the man in the 3200 block of 14th Street. The device was found in the parking lot of a convenience store at 15th Street and 42nd Avenue. Police blocked off the area while they waited for the Biloxi Bomb Squad to arrive.
The Bomb Squad determined the device was a training round, not an explosive, and it was not a threat to the community.
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The man, whose name was not released, was not arrested.
The man had tried to sell it for scrap but was told he couldn’t sell it, Bromen said.
“He was cooperative about it and was on his way to find his favorite police officer when it happened,” Bromen said.
“The big message here is if you find something like this, notify authorities. It’s old and could be unstable. Don’t take a chance.
“The man here did the right thing. He just waited a while to do it.”
The Biloxi Bomb Squad gathered and reached the scene shortly before 6 p.m. Officers X-rayed the device and determined it wasn’t a threat.
Bromen had alerted the media in a tweet about 5:20 p.m.