UPDATE FROM GRANT COUNTY: We are grateful for the fact that our citizens have sent us many offers to help find the missing rifle. Thank you! If you have any information about this missing rifle, please contact us or the Washington State Patrol. You can also send anonymous information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to correct information which we posted to our citizens and the media about the missing rifle. The missing weapon is an M16, .223-caliber, fully automatic rifle. It does not have a collapsible stock. It is used as a rifle issued to patrol deputies.
In our haste to let the public know that this weapon was missing, we sent out inaccurate information, and I apologize for the confusion that caused.
EPHRATA, Wash. (AP) - The Grant County sheriff's office says a military-style rifle is missing. Sheriff Tom Jones says he asked the Washington State Patrol to investigate after an internal investigation failed to determine what happened to the M4 semi-automatic. The news website Ifiberone.com reports (http://bit.ly/11GZVpj ) the rifle turned up missing in an inventory check. It was last known to be in a secure firearms room at the Grant County Courthouse in Ephrata.
PRESS RELEASE FROM GRANT COUNTY:
Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones has asked the Washington State Patrol to conduct an investigation into an M4 rifle missing from the Grant County Sheriff's Office. "I am enormously concerned about this missing rifle," said Sheriff Jones. "I am sorry to alarm the public that such a weapon has been lost from our control, and I reassure everyone that we will find the rifle and anybody who is found to be responsible for any malfeasance will be held accountable at the highest level." The rifle was unaccounted for during a recent GCSO internal routine audit and equipment inventory. The rifle was last logged into a secured firearms room at the Grant County Courthouse in Ephrata, but is not accounted for and its whereabouts is unknown. Immediately after it was discovered missing, the GCSO conducted an internal audit and investigation to try and locate the rifle. When the rifle was not found during the internal investigation, Sheriff Tom Jones asked the Washington State Patrol to investigate, thus providing a set of eyes from outside investigators. An M4 rifle is made by Colt Firearms. It is similar to the M16 rifle used by the U.S. military, but the M4 has a collapsible butt stock and shorter barrel. It fires a 7.62mm round. The GCSO uses the M4 as a rifle issued to patrol deputies and is a common weapon used by law enforcement agencies nationwide. A likeness of a similar rifle is attached. For further information, please contact Sheriff Jones at 509-754-2011 ext. 468 during regular business hours.